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Folsom High graduate headed to Miami

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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Since graduating from Folsom High in 2008, Eric Nedeljkovic has made a smooth transition from the prep game to the collegiate level at Sierra College. Next season, Nedeljkovic will make an even bigger leap when he, like LeBron James over the summer, will be ‘taking his talents to South Beach’ to play for the University of Miami, Florida. Nedeljkovic signed a letter of intent to play for the Hurricanes last November after receiving scholarship offers from Oklahoma, UC Santa Barbara, Hawaii, Virginia Tech and Utah. “I thought I’d fit in the best at Miami. There are tons of phenomenal players that go in and out of that program. I just hope to carry on that tradition,” said Nedeljkovic, who helped Folsom win the 2007 Delta River League title. “And the weather’s not too bad out there either.” Sierra College coach Rob Wilson was ecstatic that a program with such a rich history as Miami had interest in his versatile hurler. “Eric’s meant a ton to this team. He can do a little bit of everything,” Wilson said. “The best way to explain it is that he is capitalized, bold, underlined, italicized, competitive. He hates to lose and we’re lucky to have him.” Last season at Sierra College, Nedeljkovic, a shortstop in high school, emerged as one of the Big 8 Conference’s premier closers. He dazzled on the mound with a 2.31 ERA while giving up the fewest runs amongst relievers. He also shared the league lead with six saves for the Wolverines. “I think when he gave up fact that he wasn’t going to be a shortstop, mentally, he became a great pitcher,” Wilson added. When Miami gave the option for Nedeljkovic to remain a closer, the choice was a no-brainer. “I love the adrenaline rush,” he said. “You know what you’re getting into and you can either make or break the game. I love coming into the game in the eighth or ninth inning and finishing the most important outs of the game.” Nedeljkovic has been approached by a handful of Major League teams about his potential draft stock. He said that playing in the Major Leagues would be his “ultimate goal.” “I think I’ve always had the talent, but once you get to college, the hard work and dedication and all the little stuff outside of the game becomes more important,” he said. “Miami has always had a lot of players from California get drafted and I hope to keep that streak going as well.”