Oklahoma Baseball Signs Seven During Early-Signing Period :: Five Oklahoma high school stars ink letters-of-intent with Sooners. Oklahoma Baseball Signs Seven During Early-Signing Period

OU Head Coach Larry Cochell is pleased to welcome seven recruits to the Sooner baseball prgram. The group will begin play for the Sooners during the 2002-2003 season.

University of Oklahoma Head Baseball Coach Larry Cochell has announced the signing of seven players to national letters-of-intent to play for the Sooners during the 2002-2003 season. The group includes five high school stars from the state of Oklahoma and addresses virtually all of the team's future needs. OU will have a chance to sign additional prospects once the 2002 season is complete.

"We're extremely excited about the young men who have decided to attend the University of Oklahoma to further their education and their baseball careers," said Cochell.

Joshua Johnson of Jenks (Okla.) High, is the brother of current Sooner Tyler Johnson. He was honored by the Tulsa World and the Daily Oklahoman as an All-Frontier selection as both a sophomore and junior. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound pitcher lost just two games a year ago, and at the plate, batted .465 with 10 home runs and 40 runs batted in. He has been a member of the prestigious Oklahoma Sun Belt team.

Catcher Patrick Shutrump hails from Yukon, Okla., and was a member of the Daily Oklahoman's All-City team as a junior. He batted .466 a year ago, with 17 HRs and .972 slugging percentage. His Yukon High School teammate, pitcher Jason Schroder, also brings an impressive resume to Norman. He was 6-0 with a 2.93 ERA in 2001, and in limited plate appearances, batted .311. Both Shutrump and Schroder have participated with the Oklahoma Sun Belt squad and have been to numerous Showcase Camps at college campuses across the nation. The duo helped the Yukon Millers reach the state semifinals the past two seasons.

Corey Shafer, of Choctaw (Okla.) High School, is a Daily Oklahoman All-State performer and will bring a strong left-handed presence to the Sooner pitching staff and batting order. Shafer was 5-1 with a 3.55 ERA and 50 strikeouts a year ago, and in addition, batted .394 with 12 HR and 50 RBI. Shafer has also starred for the American Legion Midwest City Outlaws and was a Team USA Junior National Team invitee in 2000.

Blake Hurlbutt is a skilled outfielder from Enid (Okla.) Chisholm High School. He has earned first-team All-Northstar Conference honors the past two seasons and second-team all-conference honors as a freshman. He batted .463 in 2001. Hurlbutt also plays for the Enid American Legion team and set the club's batting average record in a season by hitting for a .438 clip. He was named to the all-tournament Team at the Willard Missouri Invitational.

Infielder Russell Raley comes to OU from Uvalde High School in Texas, where he has been a first-team all-district selection the past two seasons. He batted .492 as a junior, with 48 RBI and 17 doubles, and as a starting pitcher, had a 4-1 record. He led his team to a 26-9 record and the regional quarterfinals in 2001. As a quarterback he was the co-MVP of the district and owns the school's single-season passing record with 1,956 yards.

Andrew McGuire, a versatile player from Sherman, Texas, has been at Texas' Grayson County College for the past two seasons. He batted .350 in 2001, with 17 HRs, 54 RBI and had 12 stolen bases and a .978 fielding percentage. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound McGuire helped lead Grayson County College to two consecutive national titles and should be an immediate factor upon his arrival in Norman.