Area Seniors Weighing Options on Returning to College to Play

Local Sports

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — If you would have told Metamora’s Trent Johnson that he would go to college for six years and like it, he probably wouldn’t have believed you.

But because of injuries, a transfer and now a restored final year of eligibility, the Tulane pitcher says he wants to return for another year of baseball.

“I was planning to leave this year, I never thought I’d be back,” Johnson said. “But with the NCAA ruling, I’m incredibly thankful for how it has worked out so far. I get one more year of college baseball.”

Johnson, who started his college career at Arizona, then went to John Logan Community College before transferring to Tulane, is one of many area seniors weighing his options for next year after last Monday’s NCAA ruling that grants seniors on spring sports teams another season of eligibility after their seasons were cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic. The ruling also gives schools the ability to decide how much scholarship aid they want to award to those seniors who would return for their final year of competition.

Former Washington and ICC star Madi McCoy wants to head back to Bowling Green State University for one more year of softball, if the scholarship money is right.

“It’s completely out of our control. Any money, anything, I would go back and play in a heartbeat,” McCoy said. “It’s definitely worth playing one more season.”

Peoria’s Luke Shadid is in an interesting situation. He graduated in three years from Bradley with a finance degree and this summer completes his Masters of Business Administration.

This fall he will get married. Would he want to go back to school for another season of baseball?

That may depend on the baseball draft. He is waiting to see if a team drafts him or signs him after the draft.

“(Baseball) really doesn’t know, minor leaguers don’t really know what’s going on with the draft yet,” Shadid said. “I’m waiting to hear from everybody before I make a decision.”

Big decisions to be made by college senior athletes all over central Illinois in the next few months.

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