Without having thrown a single varsity pitch or even a varsity at-bat, 14-year-old Jacob Guzman is being offered the most sought-after prize in high school baseball — a “full ride” to a Div. I college program.

The Alice High School freshmen on Wednesday gave a “verbal commitment” to the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg.

In return, when Guzman graduates in 2021, the program will have a full four-year scholarship awaiting him and a potential starting role for him in his first college season. UTRGV is projecting that Guzman will grow into a “weekend starter” or possible starting pitcher. They’re also open to allowing Guzman to play middle infield and bat.

Guzman’s parents, Javier and Jeralynn, said they realize that it may be early for their son to make such a commitment, but they also realize the opportunity before them.

“At the end, he gets a free education for playing baseball, and that’s what it’s about,” Javier Guzman said. “He gets to keep on playing baseball and he gets an education out of it.”

Guzman came up playing Alice American Little League baseball and “select” baseball with Team Citius-Roland in Corpus Christi. Team Citius is a nationally-ranked baseball program meant to further the careers of young prospects. Recently, Guzman participated in a Team Citius Showcase at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. That’s where he caught the program’s attention when they clocked him with an 84-mph fastball. They spoke to Guzman at the event and recently spoke about committing to the school.

Aside from Texas Citius, Guzman also spent this past baseball season with the William Adams Middle School eighth grade team. He also played on the Alice American Junior League team which advanced to the Little League state tournament in July. Through the all-star tournament, Guzman hit .486 and he led the team with 17 RBIs. He was 3-0 and had a save as a pitcher. He also struck out 29 through 24 innings of work.

Currently, Guzman is the starting quarterback of the Alice High School freshmen “A” team football team.

Alice coach Rene Chavez said verbal commitments are a trend for college baseball programs to get commitments from underclassmen who they deem worthy or as up and coming prospects.

“(UTRGV) had Jacob are 84-85 mph,” Chavez said. “And, they’re projecting him to stretch and get stronger. These universities are beginning to sign kids early.”

Chavez said Guzman is talented enough to contend for a starting spot on this season’s team, but he’s not sure yet how the youngster will figure into things this spring.

“I’ve seen him a few times and I’ve been impressed with his arm and the command he had with his pitches,” Chavez said. “He’s a competitor, so I look forward to watching him compete.”

UTRGV plays a full Div. I schedule complete with conference games and match-ups against some of the premier college programs in the south like Texas, Texas A&M, University of Houston, Texas State more regional programs like Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the University of the Incarnate Word.