Mansfield Legacy pitcher Jaycee Cook was highly recruited in just her first season at the high school level.
Cook was No. 87 on the Class of 2019 Top 100 softball players in the country according to FloSoftball. She was also one of 57 players named in the summer of the best players still uncommitted.
But she changed that on Monday after the sophomore announced her commitment to Alabama-Birmingham.
“I went on a two-day visit, and while I was there, I felt a feeling I've never felt before and I knew this was the right place for me,” Cook said. “I went on many unofficial visits to a lot of great campuses with great coaches, but when I was at UAB, I knew I found my new home.”
Coach [Marla] Townsend said if I keep working hard, I’ll be able to contribute to the team on Day 1 my freshman year. She said ‘I want you to have a great softball career and I will provide that with lots of opportunities to do big things, but I also want you to be a great woman when you leave here. If you want to be a nurse, I'll help you make that happen and if you want to coach, you can learn from me every day. I want you to do all that you want to do and be successful at all of it.’
Legacy sophomore Jaycee Cook
In the spring, Cook was named second-team all-district 14-5A. She was 6-2 in 16 games with nine starts in 58 1/3 innings. She had a 2.52 ERA and 52 strikeouts. She was 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA in four district games.
She also batted .459 in 42 plate appearances with 11 RBIs.
Baylor, Kansas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M had also shown interest according to FloSoftball back in January.
Cook mentioned UAB’s strength of schedule, conference championships, NCAA tournament appearances and coaching staff as things that drew her in.
“UAB is also considered a Top 15 nursing school in the nation with some of the best hospitals on the same block that I would have access to shadow nurses or doctors,” she added. “I'm wanting to study nursing in college so this was a big deal.”