The quest for that elusive college athletic scholarship is usually stacked with pretty long odds, but Tyler Carlson took those odds out of the equation early by garnering the attention of the Washington State Cougar baseball coaching staff -- family ties to Wazzu didn't hurt either.
As a result, Carlson signed a letter of intent Wednesday afternoon to play baseball for Washington State in the ultracompetitive Pac-12 Conference.
He took a few moments to share his thoughts on the recruiting process, officially becoming a Cougar, and the role of Enumclaw High School and his family in getting him to this point of signing his letter of intent.
Question: What are your intial thoughts on officially signing your letter of intent to play baseball at Washington State?
Carlson: It feels good to know that I am officially a Coug!! I'm excited for the opportunity to play baseball at a high caliber and competitive Pac-12 program.
Question: What was the recruiting process like for you?
Carlson: The recruiting process with Wazzu began my freshman year while playing with my summer team. I had attended a couple of prospect camps at WSU and played in many tournaments the Wazzu coaches had attended. Coach (Donnie) Marbut and his coaches really started pushing for me to be a Coug after my sophomore year of high school baseball. The summer after my sophomore year Coach Marbut offered me a scholarship to play at Wazzu and later that week I verbally committed to be a Coug.
Question: What was the deciding factor or factors that made you commit to Washington State?
Carlson: The reason I chose to play at Wazzu was because I love the coaches and how much interest they showed in me. They are competitors and winners and a great baseball program with a very talented team and great recruiting classes coming in. I, as well, love the town of Pullman and how it is such a college town. Both of my parents attended and graduated from WSU and I have many family member that live on that side of the state.
Question: Did other schools pursue you in the recruiting process?
Carlson: Since verbally committing to Washington State, I have had several other schools contact me and state that they would like to offer me a scholarship, but then letting them know that I had already committed to be a Coug, all contacts stopped.
Question: What was the signature moment that you knew that playing college baseball at a very high level was a possibility?
Carlson: The first time it really hit me was the day I was offered. I have always wanted to be a Coug and it was a dream come true.
Question: How has the experience of playing in a strong high school baseball program at Enumclaw helped you get to this point?
Carlson: Playing in such a strong and successful program under a great coaching staff in high school has been an honor. It has allowed me to realize what it takes to be a winner and be successful, not only on the field but in everyday life. I would like to thank all of my high school coaches and teammates for everything they have done to get me to where I am today.
Question: How has the support of your family helped you navigate the recruiting process?
Carlson: Throughout the recruiting process my family has always been very supportive of me and my decisions. I would like to thank them for everything they have done for me throughout my life and I love them very much.