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Dream To Play At Michigan Becomes Reality For Oliver


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Dream To Play At Michigan Becomes Reality For Oliver

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Jasen Oliver

Class of 2023 / SS

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2023
  • Primary Position: SS
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep
    State: MI
  • Summer Team: SOA 17U
  • Height: 5-10
    Weight: 165lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Pitching
82
Max FB
(07/16/20)
80 - 82
FB
(07/16/20)
69 - 70
CB
(07/16/20)
Pitching
Max FB
82
FB
79 - 82
CB
63 - 66
Pitching
Max FB
82
FB
80 - 82
CB
69 - 70

Dream To Play At Michigan Becomes Reality For Oliver

ALMONT - A long-time aspiration has been obtained.

“Since I was little it’s been my dream to play Division I college baseball,” related Jasen Oliver.

More specifically, in a perfect world it would be in Ann Arbor.

“I’ve always worn a Michigan hat, a Michigan sweatshirt … Michigan everything,” the Orchard Lake St. Mary's incoming sophomore noted. “It’s crazy to make that a reality.”

A commitment to the Big 10 power came with the help of a teammate.

“Nolan Schubert’s a Michigan commit and they (Michigan) were wondering if there were any players at St. Mary’s worth checking out and he mentioned my name,” Oliver reflected. “I’ve been talking to them since then.”

The interaction with assistant coach Nick Schnabel since October has been just what the 11th-rated 2023 in the state had hoped it might be.

“Coach Schnabel was great during my recruiting process,” Oliver said.

The offer came from head coach Erik Bakich on a Facetime call with Oliver and his family.

“He’s what I was looking for in a college coach,” Oliver said of Bakich. “He has the same thinking as me. I wanted someone that thinks the same as me on the field and off, that has the same intensity ... somebody that’s going to help make me a better person in the classroom. Coach Bakich fills that spot. That’s where I want to be.”

The fourth-ranked sophomore shortstop in Michigan also talked with Alabama and Xavier during the recruiting process, but the 5-9 155-pounder believed the Wolverines were the best fit for his future.

“They like my game and how I’m very consistent with my glove,” explained the middle infielder. “They like my swing and how much power I can generate.”

Plans are to continue to strive at getting better with his craft.

“I need to get bigger and add more muscle mass,” Oliver said. “You can’t control how tall you are, but you can get bigger and stronger. I’m 155 pounds now and I want to be 180 before the high school season starts.”

Oliver feels he can be a valuable asset to the Michigan program.

“I have a good personality and I’m really supportive,” Oliver noted. “If someone needs me in their bad times, I’m there for them. Off the field, the same thing. I’m laughing all the time, smiling and picking people up.

“We’re all gonna have bad days. I’m there to make it better and put a smile on your face.”

That disposition helped Oliver make it through the early outbreak of COVID-19.

“Even after our Orchard Lake varsity baseball season was cut short from COVID, I did everything I could do to work on making myself better,” Oliver said. “I hit off the tee daily and worked on my fielding routine daily using a bounce back. I performed my arm care routine daily to be certain my arm was healthy. I also have a weight room in the basement.

“Regardless of the pandemic, I was still going to try and get better during a time that I couldn’t control. It wasn’t going to phase me a lot.”

Once back on the field, the future for Oliver became brighter.

“As soon as Michigan offered, and we knew it was the right offer, I’d jump on it,” Oliver said. “I didn’t want to go anywhere else. It’s been my dream school since I was young. I wasn’t interested in any other D-I school. I knew I couldn’t pass it up.”

A long list of people played big roles in helping Oliver achieve the lifelong goal.

“First off my dad,” Oliver said when naming off his biggest influences. “He’s always been there. He’s coached me since I was five, right from the start. (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s head) Coach (Matt) Petry helped me get around the upperclassmen that I’ve become brothers with and also has a lot of connections that helped me out.”

Scott Leonard with the Motor City Hit Dogs as well as Brian Kalczynski (Warriors Baseball), Casey Smith (hitting coach) and Justin Robinson (throwing coach) are other coaches that have been a big part of making Oliver the baseball player he is today.

“It’s a lot of relief now knowing that what I wanted to accomplish is complete,” concluded Oliver, a 3.6 student considering business as a college major. “Knowing that I did it and am committed to my dream school is such a relief. I’m going to one of the best schools in the country for baseball and education.

“Now it’s time to scale my game throughout my high school career so that I am ready to wear that Michigan uniform.”