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Courtesy: WMU

Gernon Signs Six In First Recruiting Class

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 11/15/2010
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KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan head coach baseball coach Billy Gernon has announced the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The 2011-12 recruiting class is the first under Gernon.

All six signees come from within the state of Michigan, including one local product out of Portage Central High School. Continuing their academic and athletic careers at Western Michigan will be Nick Bradley (Rochester, Mich./Rochester), Jared Kujawa (Temperance, Mich./Bedford), Matt Nestor (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams), Will Nimke (Saline, Mich./Pioneer), Andrew Sohn (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice), Jordan Tillman (Portage, Mich./Portage Central). The group is made up of three pitchers, a catcher, an infielder and one outfielder.

"We are obviously very excited about our recruiting class," said first-year head coach Billy Gernon. "It most certainly enhances our speed and athleticism while adding quality pitching. Those particular areas needed immediate attention and we feel very confident that we have thoroughly addressed those issues.

"Recruiting is so vital to any program and we are fortunate to have Brent Alwine and Blaine McFerrin on our staff making it possible to secure these outstanding student-athletes. We feel that there is tremendous talent in the state of Michigan and these guys did a great job of identifying talent that would be a good fit for our program. These are all young men that possess leadership skills that will assist as us as we strive towards excellence.

"Our recruiting class is filled with champions in the class as well as in many sport venues. We like that they have all experienced high levels of success, they play with energy and enthusiasm, and that they will bring a championship mentality to our program. Our coaching staff is very proud and humbled about these six young men and what they will bring to the future of Bronco baseball."

Nick Bradley (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) • RHP/SS
Has been a three-year varsity starter and letterwinner for head coach Eric Magiera ... helped team win a 2010 district title, earning all-district honors along the way ... also lettered in football and basketball ... as a quarterback, broke school record for passing yards and led team to state playoffs for first time in 11 years in 2010 ... played summer baseball for the Motor City Hit Dogs (2008) and the Oakland Bulldogs (2009-10) under coach Chuck VanRobays.

Coach Gernon on Bradley:
"Nick is a very talented multi-sport athlete that could legitimately be a two-way player for the Broncos. He is very solid off the mound and will push for playing time on the left side of our infield as well. He is a fierce competitor and a leader having been an outstanding quarterback."

Jared Kujawa (Temperance, Mich./Bedford) • C/OF/1B
Had a .500 batting average, recording 13 home runs, seven triples, 27 walks and 25 stolen bases as a junior ... was named First Team All-Southeastern Conference and was the Monroe County Player of the Year ... head coach is Craig Trychel ... also lettered in football and hockey, earning First Team All-SEC honors in both sports ... played quarterback and defensive back positions in football.

Coach Gernon on Kujawa:
"Jared is another gifted multi-sport athlete that can play several positions. He is a very solid catcher that swings a power-filled left handed bat. Kujawa is an outstanding runner and a strong competitor that will help us enhance our running game immediately. Kujawa, like Bradley, was a very talented quarterback and brings natural leadership qualities."

Matt Nestor (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams) • LHP
Was undefeated as a junior, posting a 10-0 record and a 1.88 ERA ... earned all-league, all-district and all-region honors ... plays under head coach Chuck VanRobays ... also lettered in basketball ... comes from a family with a rich athletic history ... great-grandfather, Mike Tresh, caught 12 seasons in the majors with the White Sox and Indians ... grandfather, Tom Tresh, played nine major-league seasons with the Yankees and Tigers, was both the MLB Rookie of the Year and the Sporting News Rookie of the Year in 1962, won the 1962 World Series with the Yankees and was a three-time all-star ... father, Dave Nestor, played football at Central Michigan and was a strong safety on the 1979 and 1980 MAC Championship teams.

Coach Gernon on Nestor:
"Matt is also a multi-sport athlete that possesses incredible athleticism. His left handed arm will be an immediate impact to our program from the mound and he will probably be the fastest player on the team. His pedigree is outstanding and his upside unlimited."

Will Nimke (Saline, Mich./Pioneer) • RHP
Won a Division I state championship at Pioneer High School in 2010 ... plays under head coach Jerry Holley ... earned All-Southeastern Conference honors.

Coach Gernon on Nimke:
"Will is a very exciting sign for us as he is a right handed pitcher that has had multiple experiences that have seasoned him to step on campus and impact our pitching staff. He has tremendous upside as well as commanding multiple pitches in the strike zone."

Andrew Sohn (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) • SS
Lettered the last two seasons under head coach Bob Riker ... also lettered as a forward on the Brother Rice hockey team ... father, Ray Sohn, was an outfielder on the Bronco baseball team from 1977-1980.

Coach Gernon on Sohn:
"Andrew is a hard-nosed infielder that possesses very strong defensive skills. We like his passion and competitive drive and the fact that he will bring above average speed to our program. We feel his bat is ready right now and he will be looked upon as a freshman to impact our program."

Jordan Tillman (Portage, Mich./Portage Central) • OF
Batted .400 as a junior, tallying two home runs and 21 stolen bases, also had a .566 on-base percentage ... was a first team all-conference and all-area selection ... plays under former Bronco standout Paul Schneider ... also lettered in football where he was an honorable mention all-conference defensive back.

Coach Gernon on Tillman:
"Jordan is a special athlete that also plays multiple sports. He brings another dynamic to our program with his speed and base running instincts. He has some thump in his bat and will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact. It was great to be able to keep a local player with so much talent in Kalamazoo."