Baseball America has confirmed reports that blue-chip shortstop recruit C.J. Hinojosa will not enroll early at Texas this winter, as he had previously intended.
"When you're dealing with young kids, things happen," said Longhorns recruiting coordinator Tommy Harmon.
Hinojosa, a switch-hitter from Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas, is a standout student who tried to shoulder a double course load this fall in order to graduate early, but the academic burden took a toll on him. He remains committed to Texas, but now the Longhorns must hope he gets through the 2012 draft and arrives on campus next fall.
Though Hinojosa has the talent to be drafted as high as the first round, he and his family place a high value on education, and the Longhorns still stand a legitimate chance of landing him.
"A college education is a big part of life after baseball," Hinojosa told Baseball America in October. "If I'm not blessed enough to make it to the major leagues and last a couple of years there—most careers are done at age 25, 26, and they have nothing to fall back on. I want to be a businessman if baseball doesn't work out."
Hinojosa likely would have started at shortstop for Texas this spring, but now sophomore Christian Summers figures to take over the job. Summers was a key recruit a year ago, and he has the talent to be an impact player.
"Tools-wise, he's as talented as anybody we've had in a long time," Harmon said of Summers. "He's just got to put it together. If you break him down with his arm strength, speed, size, power—they all grade out great.
"We'll be fine. Our pitching's going to be as good as or better than it's been over the last year or two."
And that's saying something.
"It is saying something," Harmon agreed.
• Elsewhere, the NCAA denied catcher Dane Phillips' appeal for an eligibility waiver, and an Arkansas spokesman said he will transfer to NAIA Oklahoma City for the spring. Phillips left Oklahoma State after his 2011 sophomore year and put together an all-star summer in the Cape Cod League, where he ranked as the No. 29 prospect. He will be eligible to play for Oklahoma City immediately and figures to be drafted inside the top five rounds in June.
• In other news, St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC coach Rob Francis was arrested Tuesday, accused of sending nude photographs of himself to an undercover deputy posing as a teenage girl in an Internet chat room, then driving to Orlando with the intent to have sex with her, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Francis, who worked as the director of baseball operations at Mississippi before being named as St. Petersburg's head coach in September 2010, faces two felony charges of obscene commication and transmission of harmful material to a minor via an electronic device.
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