CHAMPAIGN -- Kellen Sarver wasted no time making his college decision once Illinois came calling. Now he's using his senior year as a learning tool for his younger brother.
"After they told me I could commit, I committed in the next couple of hours," Sarver said.
It was a no-brainer for Centennial senior Kellen Sarver. As soon as Illinois offered him a spot as a recruited walk-on in October, he was in.
"They're giving me the shot. I feel like I wanted to stay home with my family," he added.
The Chargers catcher heated up over the summer, and the Illini noticed. While the Illini want him behind the plate, Sarver has logged innings at multiple position with the Chargers.
"They can move me all over the place," he explained. "I can see myself, I can play any position in the field. I can pitch, I can play short, I can even see myself in the outfield just being a team player anywhere they see me fit."
That fit during his senior season at Centennial includes mentor, to his younger brother and freshman Joel.
"I'm going to try to help him learn from my mistakes," he said. "I'm just going to try and keep his head up. Make sure his attitude is good. Make sure he's staying aggressive at the plate."
"He just teaches me to never stop working. Even if a college says they want you but then they say they don't, you still need to keep working because you're eventually going to find a college that wants you like Illinois did with him," Joel added.
Centennial head coach Ryan Remole already notices Kellen's leadership rubbing off on Joel.
"They just have some kind of intuition with one another. If Joel has a bad at bat, Kellen is the first one talking to him in the dugout and it's starting to translate. I'm starting to see some of that, like Joel is starting to do that to some of his teammates as well," Remole explained.
Joel wants to pitch in college, and while he hasn't made his college plans yet, the thought of a pitcher/catcher connection with his older brother is something in the back of their minds.
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