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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hochwalt Makes Florida His Early Choice



©Colette Lewis 2006

Arizona’s Tyler Hochwalt has verbally committed to Coach Andy Jackson’s Florida Gators and will join the team in the fall of 2007.

"I made an unofficial visit back in February, and I loved it there,” said Hochwalt, who told Jackson of his decision on Wednesday. “It was the first school I had visited, but with Coach Jackson and all the guys on the team, it seemed a perfect fit for me."

Hochwalt, ranked 11th nationally among seniors by tennisrecruiting.net, was interested in making an early commitment, but the July 1st direct contact period was key in his decision-making process.

"I wanted to speak to the coaches directly about what they could offer in terms of where I want to take my tennis,” said Hochwalt, who is currently training at Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego and home schooling through Laurel Springs. “Coach Jackson came out to San Diego on that day (July 1). He watched me practice and we talked about my plans."

"After that I talked with other coaches and it took me about a week and a half to make my decision,” Hochwalt said, "but all this was a good experience for me, learning about the schools and their programs.”

Other possibilities he considered were UCLA, Texas and Miami, but the sunshine was an important factor for the Scottsdale native.

"There are other schools that I really respect the programs and the coaches, but I just wasn’t going to go there," Hochwalt said. “I’m not a cold weather kid.”

Admitting to some relief that the decision is behind him, Hochwalt now heads to Rockville, Maryland for the National Clay Court Championships, a place that holds special memories for him. In 2005, he swept both the singles and the doubles titles in the 16s division; this year he is moving up, and is seeded in the 5-8 group in the 18s.

It's one step in a series that he will make over the next year, but he’s ready for the challenge of college tennis.

"Coach Jackson is a great person and a great coach. I’m excited about playing for him."

9 comments:

Austin said...

Florida graduated their 1,4,5,6 and 7 guys. Plus who knows if Sweeting will actually go back. That leaves Oullette and Briceno returning to the starting lineup, then possibly Sweeting. Did they sign anyone for this fall?

And also, Tennis Recruiting hasn't posted anything; where are Tim Neilly, Tim Smyczek, Jessie Levine, Michael Shabaz, Marcus Fugate and Alex Clayton going to college? If they are going at all, I hope they are. Also, what about Dennis Zivkovic, what about him? I'm sure he's probably going to go pro, if he isn't already deemed professional.
If there is any other top-ranked player I left out that hasn't been declared on Tennis Recuiting let me know.

Anonymous said...

i heard sweeting is definately a Gator. I think Neilly has committed to pro. Not sure about the others -
Andy Jackson is a top notch coach and a great developer to get to a players full potential. Great results over a long time, not only at Florida.

Anonymous said...

**Other possibilities he considered were UCLA, Texas and Miami, but the sunshine was an important factor for the Scottsdale native.

"There are other schools that I really respect the programs and the coaches, but I just wasn’t going to go there," Hochwalt said. “I’m not a cold weather kid.”**

Wait a second... he didn't choose UCLA, Miami, or Texas... because of the weather? Hello?

Colette Lewis said...

Sorry if that wasn't clear. It was unnamed schools outside the sunbelt that he didn't consider because of the weather. The three mentioned were seriously considered along with Florida because they did meet his climate criteria.

Anonymous said...

sweeting got a DUI on campus he got kicked off the team so i dont think hes coming back

Anonymous said...

Sweeting is coming back, and will be back for all four years.

Austin said...

He didn't actually get kicked off the team, he got suspended from the university for one semester so he was forced to be taken off the roster. I saw an interview with Andy Jackson saying Sweeting would be enrolling in summer classes and hopefully back in the fall as well, but the reason I ask is because he is having some success in the futures since he was booted from campus.

Anonymous said...

Sweeting is due to return to school, but it is highly unlikely the University or the NCAA will ever allow him to play college sports again after a DUI.

Anonymous said...

Hello....colleges and universities, and the NCAA are quite liberal. Basketball players, football players, lacrosse players and others have been playing their events...in huge arenas after DUI's, drug charges, felonies and even rapes sometimes within days after arrests. Don't you watch ESPN??
Sweeting WILL be back in the fall, PLAYING for the Gators, I've heard for 4 years.
I'm glad for Hochwalt, the University of Florida and Andy Jackson is a good place for him.