A little more than a week after helping to lead the Mount Carmel baseball team to the Class 4A state championship, Jason Gasser knows where he will play his college baseball.
The Dyer resident committed Monday to Northern Illinois University. He was also recruited by Western Michigan and and had an offer to be a preferred walk-on at Ball State.
Gasser said while he liked the campus and coach Ed Mathey, there was another reason for his choosing the Huskies.
"The really talked about academics and talked it up big time to me and my mom and dad," Gasser said. "They are going to make sure you get your degree and academics are real important me."
According to the school's website, all 17 Northern Illinois teams surpassed the national standards for academic progress measured by the NCAA through its Academic Progress Rate (APR) for 2013, the eighth consecutive year that every NIU team has "made the grade."
Gasser is believed to be the only Mount Carmel athlete to win a state football and baseball championship in the same school year. He was a wide receiver and defensive back on the Caravan's Class 8A state championship football team. He was a center fielder and cleanup hitter for the Caravan's baseball team which beat Libertyville 2-1 for the Class 4A state title. For the season, he hit .425 with 45 hits and 33 RBIs. In baseball, he was the Catholic League Blue Tony Lawless Award winner.
In the state championship, Gasser singled in Jerry Houston Jr. for the game's first run, then scored what proved to be the winning run.
"I liked the coach and the school," Gasser said. "I was impressed with the business school and the baseball facilities. They have a nice field (Ralph McKinzie Field) and like I said, they have tutors and they are going to make sure you make the grade."