From the time they were 8-year-olds on the Chesterton Vipers, Carson Husmann and Kyle Schmack shared a vision of playing college baseball.
"It's been our dream since we were real young," Schmack said.
While high school seniors across the country signed their national letters of intent Wednesday, the South Central juniors have already taken the first step in making that dream become a reality, having announced their verbal commitments in the last week.
"It means a lot," said Husmann, who will attend Illinois State. "It's something we always wanted to do. It just came about so quick, we weren't really expecting it. The process was mind blowing."
Schmack will play at Valparaiso University, coached by Brian Schmack, his dad, who was the second person he informed of his decision. The first was assistant coach Ben Wolgamot, who recruited him.
"It's going to be real cool," Schmack said of playing for his dad. "I've mainly been coached by other people. I've seen him coach my whole life. I like how he does everything how you should. I can't wait to play for him."
The boys first met during T-Ball, one playing for Hanna, the other for Clinton. Husmann was already with the Vipers when he introduced Schmack to the travel team.
"We've been friends forever and became best friends," Schmack said. "We came up at the same time. We started the recruiting at the same time. When I saw (he announced), I couldn't believe it. It's great for him. It's crazy."
A 6-foot-1, 228-pound corner infielder, Schmack plays in the summer for the Indiana Chargers. He also had interest from Western Michigan, but Valpo's offer separated the Crusaders.
"It's been a while since they told me," he said. "I hated to make them wait."
Husmann, a 6-1, 180-pound center fielder, caught Illinois State's attention in his summer action with the Midwest Rangers. He was also offered by Northern Kentucky and Western Michigan was showing interest when he made his choice of the Redbirds.
"They showed the most interest," he said. "They probably saw me the most of anyone. They came to 20 games from the time they offered. They kept in touch."
Schmack hit .362 with seven doubles and 18 RBIs last season, also picking up a pair of pitching wins. Husmann hit .487 with 15 doubles, 28 RBIs and 35 runs, slugging .846.
"One school contacted me my freshman year and I agreed with my parents it was too early," Husmann said. "We talked about moving schools, but I liked the idea of bringing something big schools have to a small school. I always wanted to do it, so it's sweet to see it happen."