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February 19, 2013

Twine talks TCU baseball commitment, football options

Hemphill's Justin Twine is no stranger to big numbers.

As a sophomore last year, the star shortstop hit 10 home runs and batted .580. That previous fall, Twine burst onto the state football scene, rushing for 2,478 yards and 34 touchdowns while also throwing for 819 yards as the Hornets' quarterback. And in just one game that season Twine rushed for 534 yards and six touchdowns on 21 carries.

That's no misprint. One game.

So that's why it's probably no surprise Twine was at it again Tuesday afternoon during Hemphill's baseball season opener against West Sabine.


The TCU baseball commit batted 4-for-4 with two singles, a double and a triple, falling just short of the cycle but leading the Hornets to an 11-4 win.

"I was going for it," he said.

A dual-sport star, Twine committed Jan. 14 to the TCU baseball team, giving the Horned Frogs a pledge from one of the top 2014 prospects in nation. Twine also has a football offer from Baylor, and he'll likely pick up more heading into his senior season.

But when TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle offered in December, Twine thought it over and couldn't pass it up.

"Baseball has always been my first choice in sports," Twine said. "When I got this offer in baseball, I said go for it. I feel pretty good about it, and I feel comfortable at TCU."

Twine visited campus a couple times last summer before taking another trip at the beginning of last semester. Over time, Twine said he was able to establish a solid relationship with Schlossnagle, who plans to keep Twine in the middle of the infield.

"I saw he respected me, and he really wanted me and just listened to what I had to say about where I wanted to play," Twine said.

But for TCU, getting Twine to commit was one thing. Getting him on campus next year might be another.

Twine is already creeping up early draft boards. Barring a big change, Twine said he expects to go within the first few rounds.

Still, that doesn't mean he'll be a guarantee to sign with an MLB team, regardless of where he's taken. He said he has somewhat of a signing number in mind, but that his first choice, at the moment at least, is to go to college.

Playing football is still a viable option, too, he said.

Twine injured his groin in the third game of the season last fall, forcing him to miss the rest of the year, but he said he is fully healed.

"I haven't exactly given up on football," he said. "I planned on playing next year. I'll probably give Coach (Gary) Patterson a call. It's not out of the picture."

Twine, a 5-foot-10, 196-pounder, is listed as an athlete and is primarily being recruited as an inside receiver.


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