NORMAN – Oklahoma men’s tennis head coach Nick Crowell welcomed three new Sooners to the program Thursday at the beginning of the early signing period. The class of 2018 includes Mason Beiler and Matthew Rodriguez, a Blue Chip Recruit and a 5-Star Recruit, respectively.
“Today is an exciting day for the Sooner tennis program signing two of the best players in America,” said Crowell. “Both of these guys come from Florida where they have competed their entire lives against the best players in the world. In addition, they are also good friends and have been teammates on many team events nationwide. Each guy brings different strengths to the team and we are looking forward to working with them the next four years.”
Crowell and the team will also welcome Max Stewart, who signed with the Sooners in May 2017. Stewart will join the roster in January and be eligible to compete in the spring slate.
Palm Harbor, Fla. (NFC Academy Online)
- No. 3 junior player in Florida
- Currently holds a USTA ranking of No. 11; career-high No. 7 ranking
- TennisRecruiting.net Blue Chip Recruit – No. 13 nationally
- Chose OU over Florida, Florida State, Virginia and Georgia
“I chose Oklahoma for their excellent tennis program and academics. When I visited campus and all the facilities, I fell in love and thought ‘It doesn't get much better than this.’”
Crowell on Beiler:
“Mason plays a big game with a very strong one-handed backhand and forehand. He reminds me a lot of Stan Wawrinka in his game style and build. Mason is a really hard worker and great competitor. He continues to improve every year and will add so much positivity to our culture.”
Highland Beach, Fla. (Score Academy)
- TennisRecruting.net 5-Star recruit – No. 41 nationally
- Currently holds a USTA ranking of No. 56
- Florida representative for the 2016 Bill Talbert National Sportsmanship Award
- 2016 National Boys 16s Level 2 Champion
- 2016 Regional Boys 18s Champion
- 2017 Level 3 Boys 18s National Champion
- Chose OU over TCU and Wake Forest
“I elected to attend the University of Oklahoma for its established academics and athletic reputation. I was also afforded the honor to participate in the OU men’s tennis program under the direction of Coach Nick Crowell, an individual with an established track record, proven people skills, and the ability to take my game to the highest level possible.”
Crowell on Rodriguez:
“Matt has a super solid game style with an outstanding backhand and great hands. He loves to compete and will bring a lot of feistiness to our bunch. He is very strong physically and has been one of the best players in his age division for a long time. That being said, I believe Matt's best tennis is still ahead of him at the University of Oklahoma.”
- ITF career-high ranking of 68
- Former No. 2 junior player in Great Britain
- Since 2016, has advanced to the semifinals or better in either singles or doubles at 10 ITF tournaments
- Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) of 13.74 (out of 16.5)
“I chose OU because when I walked onto the campus I immediately felt like I would be happy there for the next 4 years. When I met Nick (Crowell), Nate (Feldman) and the team I could see the friendship between them and had the sense that all of them cared about one another, respected each other and genuinely wanted success for the team and individually. I can't wait to be a part of that."
Crowell on Stewart:
“Max is very talented with a very big game. He competes really hard and has great character. Max has traveled the globe and has a great deal of experience playing in the biggest junior events in the world. He will provide an immediate impact to our program the day he steps on campus."
Oklahoma men’s tennis will open spring dual play in January. The schedule will be released at a later date.
For updates, follow @OU_MTennis on Twitter.