Unlike a lot of high-school athletes, there was a time when Prairie View's Devin Mauter didn't think he'd be sitting center stage during a letter-of-intent ceremony.
But there he was Nov. 11 in the main entryway of his high school as he put pen to paper and signed to play baseball for Ottawa University.
He tore a nerve in his elbow 14 months ago. His coach, Mark Gonzales, said the injury came at a time when Mauter was starting to show "great growth."
"That kind of injury is a big setback, especially if you want to pitch," Gonzales said. "It's a setback if you allow it to be. He was dedicated. he wanted to play again, and Devin showed up every day."
"Since I got that injury, I didn't know if I was going to play baseball again," Mauter said. "I knew I'd have to do rehab. But once I started rehab, I continued my growth, and I was able to play again."
The rehab process took three to four months, and Mauter said it was "tough."
"I had to learn to throw the ball again and get my strength back in my elbow," Mauter said. "This is something I wanted to do."
His injury played a part in what he wants to study.
"I was thinking about sports medicine," Mauter said. "I enjoy learning about sports. IU want to know more about it. I want to be a coach, some day."
No other schools showed interest in Mauter, and Mauter said he wasn't interested in any others.
"Once when I visited, I enjoyed the feel they had, great coaches and all," he said. "Once I saw the campus, it was perfect. I saw everything,. It was pretty good for me. I like it."
"What you see, this picture of Devin, is what you get 99 percent of the time," Gonzales said. "He was a decided underdog. That caused him to sell himself short. There's a college for everyone. A lot of the recruiting process has changed. It's who you know, right place at the right time. But you have to seize that opportunity."
Gonzales said Mauter will "break out of his shell" in college and have a "chance to run the roost in his dorm room."
"He wasn't rattled," Gonzales said. "It's a testimony to him that he showed up to go on a road trip and be offered pretty much on the spot. Good things happen to good people."
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