Most sophomores in high school really haven't begun the process of trying to figure out where it is they want to attend college.
It's certainly safe to say that Linsly's Logan Goodnight isn't anywhere close to a normal sophomore.
Goodnight's had his dreams and goals set for several years and they partially came to fruition recently when he informed the Penn State University baseball staff that he was ready to verbally commit to the Nittany Lions program despite having three full seasons of prep baseball still to play.
"I really wasn't expecting to commit this soon," Goodnight said during a phone interview. "I really thought maybe next summer sometime, but I went to a camp at Penn State, their coaches watched me and made me an offer. I visited some other schools, but none of them compared to Penn State."
Goodnight, who is the first commit for the Nittany Lions in the Class of 2016, can't officially sign his National Letter of Intent until November of 2015. Despite the lengthy wait, don't expect Goodnight to change his mind.
"No school or coach can tempt me out of Penn State," Goodnight said. "I have no thoughts of de-committing or even looking at other schools. I am going to keep my word."
Goodnight had an impressive freshman season for the Cadets, playing a key role in their OVAC Class 2A title. He batted .371 with seven doubles. He was 13-of-14 stealing bases and flashed impressive leather at shortstop. He also took the hill for the Cadets, posting a 2-1 record with an ERA of 3.11 with 24 strikeouts in 15 innings of work.
It wasn't until this summer when the recruiting process really heated up for Goodnight, who spent June, July and August playing for Chandler Baseball, which is a travel baseball organization based in Philadelphia. Goodnight battled .302 for that squad and swiped 17 bases. He was 1-0 on the bump.
"I'd played travel ball since I was 9 years old locally and then I had the chance to play against some top competition at an event in Chicago with a bunch of college coaches watching," Goodnight said. "I was just fortunate to be able to take part in that."
After playing as a youngster in Glen Dale, Goodnight began playing for the Ohio Valley Mudcats at the age of 9 and remained with them for five years. Also at the age of 9, Goodnight began working on strength and speed with Dave Pelluchette, to whom Goodnight expressed a sincere thank you.
"I owe a lot to my coaches (Mike Coss, Jeff Grove, Mike Jacob and Mike McGrath) with the Mudcats," Goodnight said. "Coach Coss really helped me with my hitting and fielding. He played professionally with the Orioles organization, so his knowledge and expertise has helped me each step of the way."
Playing baseball all summer has taken Goodnight all over the country and caused him to miss out on many activities kids his age enjoy.
"Chandler Baseball is a great organization and Coach Mark Helsel told me what I needed to do to get to this level, so I followed the plan and worked very hard," Goodnight said. "I miss not getting to do all of the things my friends do, but I knew that going into (travel baseball). If you want to be the best, you have to make sacrifices."
The sacrifices have obviously paid off. Goodnight is ranked as the top prep player in the state of West Virginia for his class, according to both Prep Baseball Report and Perfect Game.
Don't think for a minute that the early commitment will alter Goodnight's work ethic or approach.
"I am definitely not where I need to be right now to play at that level," Goodnight said. "I need to continue to get bigger, faster, stronger and improve in all areas of my game."
Goodnight's been told during the recruiting process that he'd have a chance to compete for the starting shortstop job immediately.
Some of the other schools that Goodnight visited and considered included some baseball heavyweights such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Miami, Fla., Louisville, Clemson, Vanderbilt and countless others.
"I liked everything about Penn State," Goodnight said. "The academics and athletics are first-class. Plus, the coaching staff is great and they're taking that program in the right direction. Plus, the campus is beautiful."
Goodnight, who is a member of the Cadets' basketball program as well, has no intentions of dropping any of his high school sports to prepare for the collegiate level.
"I'll definitely play the next three years at Linsly," Goodnight said. "I don't plan on giving up playing basketball either.
Logan, who is thinking about studying either sports medicine or physical therapy, is the son of Scott and Lisa Goodnight of Wheeling.
"Each year our vacations seemed to involve some sort of a baseball tournament," Logan said. "My parents have been so supportive of my reaching my goals. My dad's been with me every step of the way and I owe him so much."
Scott Goodnight was a standout baseball player at John Marshall, helping the Monarchs to the 1985 West Virginia State Championship. He then had a standout career at West Virginia Wesleyan.