Sam Meuret has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Iowa in 2014.
Meuret of Brunswick, Neb., also looked at Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas.
“I felt very comfortable about Iowa City and the campus," said Meuret, a senior at Plainview High School. "They have incredible facilities, a great team, and I love both of the coaches (Mark Hankins and assistant Dan Holterhaus).”
In 2013, Meuret won the Nebraska Class C state title and the Nebraska Junior Amateur. He placed fourth at the AJGA’s Kansas Junior at Buffalo Dunes. He also qualified for match play at the U.S. Junior Amateur (Round of 64).
Kyler Dunkle of Castle Rock, Colo., has given a verbal commitment to play collegiate golf at Colorado State in 2014.
Dunkle, who attends Douglas County High School, also looked at Kansas, Denver and BYU.
“I chose CSU because of the coaches and also the atmosphere that I will get to play in,” Dunkle said. “Competing against some of the best collegiate players in the nation will be a great challenge. I am excited to start my career in college golf.”
In 2013, Dunkle placed sixth at the Colorado Junior Stroke Play Championship. He also had two top-five finishes at the FCWT at Wigwam Golf Resort and at the FCWT at Half Moon Bay.
Megan Thothong of Plano, Texas, verbally committed to play for Houston, which will begin competing in 2014.
Thothong, No. 46 in the Class of 2014 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, also visited North Texas and Houston Baptist before committing to Houston.
Thothong cited the Houston campus, facilities, academics and coaches as reasons for choosing the young program. But one of the strongest reasons was the chance to play on the first team.
“We get to set the path as some of the first players in university history, and not many people can say that,” Thothong said in an email.
A member of the girls golf team at Plano West Senior High School, Thothong won the JGC Lone Star Junior and had three other top-10 finishes in AJGA events.
Max Rispler has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at South Alabama in 2014.
Rispler a Forest Hills, Mich., native, spent eight months in Florida at Mike Bender Elite Academy. He looked at Michigan State, Iowa and Colorado State. It came down to Colorado State and South Alabama.
He picked South Alabama because of head coach, Ben Hannan.
“He understands golfers, he's huge into family and he saw a lot more in me than any other coach,” Rispler said. “A lot of the other coaches, I felt, saw me as a score instead of a person. He saw me as a person rather than a score. He knows that I have a ton of talent and my best golf is ahead of me.”
Rispler is a senior at Forest Hills Central. He was an all-conference and an all-state golfers as a freshman and sophomore. He has won three times on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour since November 2012, as well as 5 top-10 finishes.
Lakareber Abe has given a verbal commitment to play for Mic Potter at the University of Alabama beginning in the fall of 2014. Abe also made unofficial visits to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Texas A&M, North Carolina and Texas.
Abe, of Angleton, Texas, said she chose Alabama because of the opportunity to play for Potter and assistant coach Susan Rosenstiel. Abe is ranked No. 48 in Golfweek’s Junior Rankings, but is No. 10 in the class of 2014.
A student at the Jim McLean Junior Golf Academy, Abe recently finished T-20 at the AJGA’s Rolex Girls Junior. She was runner-up earlier this spring at the AJGA’s Goodman Networks Junior and was T-14 at the Kathy Whitworth Invitational. Abe also advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
Abe’s older sister, Tezira, just completed her freshman season on the Texas roster.
Ben Baxter has given a verbal commitment to play for SMU. Baxter, who lives in Flower Mound, Texas, also visited Houston, Arkansas, Indiana and Notre Dame.
Baxter said he liked the feel of the SMU campus, and its academic reputation also played a role in his college decision. Baxter attends a charter school in Lewisville, Texas called iSchool High.
“I believe that Coach (Josh) Gregory and Coach (Jason) Enloe are the best coaches in the nation and ones that I fully trust to improve my game,” Baxter said.
Baxter recently finished eighth at the AJGA’s Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions. He had three top-15 finishes in AJGA events in 2012, and finished T-3 at the 2011 Preseason Junior at Brickhaven.
Marissa Grillo of Avon, Conn., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for Boston College. Grillo also made unofficial visits to Brown, William and Mary and Dartmouth.
“I am so excited to be attending Boston College as a member of the women’s golf team,” Marissa said. “I chose Boston College because of its top-ranked academics, the incredible Boston area and the challenging golf program. The girls on the team are really nice and welcoming, and I believe with the guidance of Coach (Drew) Kayser and Couch (Bill) Poutre that Boston College is the best place for me to further advance my golf game.”
Grillo, co-captain of Avon High School’s girls golf team, has won all-conference and all-state honors. She won the 2012 World Series of Junior Golf and recently was runner-up at the FCWT’s Red Tail Junior Open.
Alice Chen has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Furman in 2014.
Chen of Princeton, N.J., made unofficial visits to Richmond, Yale, Wake Forest, Pepperdine, TCU and Georgetown.
The Montgomery High School junior chose Furman because “it has a great balance between an excellent golf program and outstanding academics.
“I am really excited to work under head coach (Kelley) Hester and assistant coach (Jeff) Hull because they both have profound golf careers both as players and as coaches. All of my future teammates are incredibly sweet, diligent and driven,” said Chen. “The golf course and practice facilities are very convenient because I can walk to them from campus. I also wanted a liberal arts education, but there are few schools that have a golf program that can compare to Furman's. Furman also has a really rich history with a significant amount of alumni that go on to play on the LPGA. There is a lot of opportunity at Furman and I'm incredibly excited to be developed into a much better player.”
Chen recently won the New Jersey High School State Championship. In 2012, Chen won the New Jersey Girls’ Championship. She has four top-five ...
Taylor Coleman of San Antonio has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for Arizona State beginning in the fall of 2015. Coleman had narrowed her decision down to Georgia, SMU, Texas, Ole Miss and Arizona State, but also made unofficial visits to Auburn, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Coleman, 16, based her decision heavily on the coaching staff. The combined experience of head coach Melissa Luellen and assistant coach Missy Farr-Kaye was a big draw for Coleman.
“I love how their golf course and golf facilities are on campus,” Coleman said. “Everything is right here.”
Tempe is just a short flight from San Antonio or a 12-hour drive, which is close enough for Coleman. Committing to Arizona State has freed Coleman’s mind to now concentrate only on golf.
“The stress is gone,” she said. “I don’t have to worry about college anymore.”
Coleman, ranked No. 134 overall in Golfweek’s Junior Rankings, most recently finished sixth at the Golfweek West Coast Junior Invitational at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz. Before that, Coleman made headlines at the North Texas LPGA Shootout, where she shot a first-round 68 for a share of eighth at the end ...
Marisa Messana of Plantation, Fla., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Clemson when the Tigers' women's program debuts in 2014.
Messana, a junior at American Heritage, had interest from Boston College, Purdue, Michigan, TCU and Florida State.
"I chose Clemson because I loved everything about the golf program, and I was very impressed by the administrators that help the student-athletes academically and athletically,” Messana said. “I think between those people and the awesome facilities, I'm giving myself the best opportunity to reach my goals.
“I've always loved challenging myself, so I really liked the idea of starting a new program. I can't wait to start working with the girls (already on the team) and Coach (J.T.) Horton. Coach Horton is a great coach and will continue to develop all the strong players we have. I'm really excited to help make history, especially at such a strong-spirited school.”
Messana tied for sixth at the AJGA’s Innisbrook tournament in March by shooting 73-73-71. She is a Sun-Sentinel All-Broward County first-team selection. Messana also maintains a 4.89 weighted GPA.
Danny Walker has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for Virginia. Walker, of Bradenton, Fla., also made unofficial visits to Central Florida, North Florida and Notre Dame, and he considered Illinois.
“I chose the University of Virginia because of the balance between golf and academics,” Walker said. “I also really like the campus as well as the practice facilities. Coach (Bowen) Sargent is very passionate, with a lot of experience as a coach and player.”
Walker is a junior at Lake Ranch High School, and helped his team to the 2A state championship title the past two years. He won the individual state championship as a freshman in 2010.
Walker was an honorable-mention AJGA Rolex All-American in 2012, the same year he tied for second at the Western Junior.
Jamie Binns (NR, 2014) has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Cal Poly.
Binns took an unofficial visit to South Florida. Sonoma State and Point Loma Nazarene made him offers.
The San Diego native is a junior at Scripps Ranch High School.
“I chose Cal Poly because of the good academics,” Binns said. “I love the team and the coach, and the location is great."
Binns won the 2012 North County Junior Golf Toyota Cup Qualifying Series and the San Diego Junior Golf Summer Qualifying Series for Junior Worlds, which qualified him for the Junior World Championships.
Drew Jones of Decatur, Texas, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Texas in 2016.
Jones also looked at Oklahoma State, Arizona, Oklahoma, Auburn and Michigan. He made unofficial visits to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma prior to making his decision.
The Decatur High School freshman always knew he wanted to play college golf if given the opportunity.
“I feel at home in Austin, and I have a tremendous amount of respect and trust in Coach (John) Fields and Coach (Ryan) Murphy,” Jones said. “Their values are very similar to the way I was raised, and I really feel as though I fit in there. I am really excited about joining the Longhorn family.”
In 2012, Jones had two top-five finishes and one top-10 finish in three starts on the AJGA. Jones has earned runner-up and top-5 finishes in the 2011 and 2012 Texas/Oklahoma Junior, respectively.
Taylor Funk, son of touring pro Fred Funk, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Texas in 2014.
Funk made unofficial visits to Auburn, Alabama and North Florida before choosing Texas.
He is home-schooled but plays golf for Ponte Vedra (Fla.) High School.
“I chose Texas because I really love the coaches there,” Funk said. “I believe that the University of Texas has the best resources and facilities in college golf.
“I believe Texas is where I can improve my game the most, and I knew the moment I left the unofficial visit at Texas that Texas was where I wanted to be,” Funk added.
Funk was the 2012 St. John’s Player of the Year and first team all-county. He was the Florida High School Athletic Association 2A regional champion. He also won the Future Collegians World Tour at TPC Sawgrass and Inverrary.
Funk's father, a Maryland graduate who has won eight times on the PGA and Champions tours, coached the men's golf team at his alma mater from 1982 to 1988.
Ryan Gronlund, of Pleasanton, Calif., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at SMU in 2014.
Gronlund made unofficial visits to Oregon, California, Arizona and UC Davis.
The Foothill High School junior chose SMU based on a number of factors.
“Mainly because Coach (Josh) Gregory and Coach (Jason) Enloe made me feel the most comfortable with their coaching philosophy and desire to win,” Gronlund said.
“I felt SMU was a perfect fit for me. SMU is a great school academically, have access to great golf facilities, will be building a new world-class practice facility and golf course and the student-athlete services are the best,” he added.
In 2012, Gronlund won two FCWT events. He also placed second at the AJGA at Centennial, placed third at the AJGA Junior All-Star at Stockton and finished seventh at the AJGA Junior All-Star Invitational in Florida.