A summer packed with baseball successes confirmed to Griffin Everitt what he had long suspected.
He and Nebraska have some unfinished business together.
The two-year Husker catcher and co-captain last season will return for one more college campaign, he told the Omaha World-Herald on Sunday. His decision — generally expected after he went undrafted in mid-July — means NU retains one of its most consistent performers who has been a .289 career hitter across 85 career starts.
“I’m locked in and coming back,” Everitt said. “It was always the plan for me to come back. No opportunities came up that were worth taking so I’m coming back.”
The Lincoln Southwest grad, and former junior-college standout, has been away from home since the Huskers completed a 23-30 campaign in late May. He hit around .300 for the Santa Barbara Foresters of the California Collegiate League, notably walking roughly as many times as he struck out across 20-plus games.
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Everitt finished his summer in Wichita, Kansas, on Saturday night as the Foresters won the National Baseball Congress World Series.
The draft results were disappointing, Everitt said, but he’s moved on to acceptance and now excitement “to get back out there and prove some people wrong.” He will work to finish a degree in sports media and communications this academic year and extend his playing career as long as he can after that.
“A lot of times with catchers when pro teams sign them, it’s to be bullpen guys,” Everitt said. “With me having a year left to play, I’m not ready to go to that type of role. I’m still thinking baseball is going to allow me to play for a couple more years after next year — I’m not quite ready to hang them up.”
Everitt, who will be 23 when the February opener rolls around, hit .291 and started all 53 games for Nebraska last year while adding eight homers, 41 RBIs and a team-best 12 doubles. It will be his fifth college season overall as he takes advantage of the pandemic-related extra year of eligibility.
Three of the Huskers’ four co-captains from 2022 are now set to return, with Griffin joined by right-handed pitcher Shay Schanaman — potentially set to move from a starting role back to the bullpen — and left-hander Kyle Perry. Utilityman Cam Chick transferred to Missouri.
Everitt’s decision also means Nebraska completes the cycle without a player drafted or signed as an undrafted free agent for the first time since 1977.
The catcher said he will return to the program a better player after a summer of winning and new experiences. The Foresters’ motto — keep it loose — could serve the Huskers well, he said. So too can a team-first mentality as NU welcomes in upwards of 25 new players out of high school, junior college and the transfer portal.
The veteran vows to be an active part of the solution.
“Still a lot of work to do and still a little sour taste in my mouth from last season,” Everitt said. “There’s a lot to improve and a lot to look forward to this year.”