For Bobby Nicholson, the choice was clear all along.
The St. Anne's-Belfield sophomore will play his college baseball at Virginia, less than half a mile from where he plays now for the Saints.
"I've always had my eye on UVa," Nicholson said Thursday. "It's always been the number one choice for me. Vanderbilt and North Carolina showed some interest but I knew in the end UVa is where I wanted to go."
The 6-3 Nicholson is considered a top-25 recruit nationally by college baseball recruiting website PerfectGame.org.
The mutual interest between Nicholson and the Cavaliers began over the summer and intensified over the last few weeks, culminating with Nicholson's verbal commitment.
"It's awesome. It's awesome, I'm really looking forward to it. Obviously a great school, I have friends and family that go there. Obviously a top baseball program in the country. I'm looking forward to playing in front of friends and people I know."
According to Nicholson, Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor and his staff are giving him the chance to be a two-way player.
He hit .427 for the Saints last year as a freshman, with a pair of home runs, 25 RBIs and five stolen bases.
He also went 3-0 on the mound, with a 1.95 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 32 innings of work.
"I haven't been a pitcher for as long as I've been hitting so it's still kind of new but I enjoy both so we'll just have to wait and see," he said of his future position with the Wahoos.
Nicholson is the second Saint to agree to join the Cavaliers in as many months.
Jalen Harrison, who Perfect Game has ranked as the top player in Virginia and No. 21 overall for 2016, also gave his verbal commitment to the Wahoos.
"It's great to have a friend and teammate in high school and moving on," Nicholson said of the pair's decision. "He's a great player, one of the best I've ever seen. It'll be fun to play with him in college. He definitely had an impact."
Nicholson also cited his relationship with O'Connor and company for his decision.
"They always made me feel really welcomed on my visits and stuff. I think we're just all excited. It's going to be fun."
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