Bryan Brickhouse is a 6-2, 190-pound right handed pitcher from The Woodlands (Texas) High School. He is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in Texas by Perfect Game No. 57 nationally in the 2011 class. Baseball America has Brickhouse among the nation’s top 40 prospects. He earned Under Armour All-American honors in 2010.
"I am from North Carolina and my grandpa knows [UNC assistant] coach [Scott] Forbes and they have known each other for a while,” Brickhouse said. “They came down and saw me pitch in Jupiter a couple of years ago. That was the only time that they really recruited me and then they called me in a week or so after that to invite me down for a visit and they offered me on the visit. It was really easy to have conversations with Coach Forbes because we had so much in common with my grandparents knowing his family."
Geography also played a role in this decision, "I moved to Texas when I was five and I have always wanted to come back to North Carolina and the east to play college ball," Brickhouse said. "It was not too hard of a decision for me about where to go."
Brickhouse signed with North Carolina over offers from LSU, South Carolina, NC State and Vanderbilt.
"I really liked the coaches and the campus is a lot like where I live right now and was very comfortable on my visit," Brickhouse said. "Plus being an ACC school known as a baseball powerhouse with a great chance of heading to Omaha were all factors for me, while academics was the other reason. North Carolina is a great school and they have a great sports administration program which is what I want to study while I am there."
Brickhouse is a power pitcher ranging up to 94 miles per hour with his fastball in addition to featuring a slider, curve and changeup. Throwing from a 3/4 angle arm slot, he has a good breaking ball with a lot of bite and his sinking changeup keeps batters off balance. Brickhouse also features a slider with late breaking action that is his go-to pitch for strikeouts.
"Bryan is an outstanding athlete," said Ron Eastman, the head coach at The Woodlands HS. "I have known him since he was a very young man at seven and he has always been a very talented and very gifted young man. He could have been very good at football and could have been a very good position player in baseball. His athletic skills and ability just have been a real blessing for us."
"Bryan is real focused and a really strong competitor. We have been very blessed with a good run of talent on the mound here and he has been able to spend the last two years working with Jameson Tallion (the second pick in the 2010 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates). He has always been a hard worker and has really bought into the hard work approach. When the takes the mound he is all business and is just nails out there for us. Off the field he is a very likable kid with a great sense of humor."
As one of the top arms in the country in the 2011 class, and with the high profile that his high school and Houston Heat traveling program have, Brickhouse is well known by Major League Baseball front offices, who are already having in-home visits with the talented fireballer.
However, Brickhouse is focusing on his upcoming senior campaign. "At this point I am not thinking about it - it is so far off and so much could happen," he elaborated. "I still have a whole season to play and I don't really have a number in mind right now. I want to concentrate on my season and let things take care of themselves."
Brickhouse already is looking forward to the challenge of pitching in the Atlantic Coast Conference and has a clear goal for his career in Chapel Hill, "My number one goal is to win a College World Series and get to Omaha," he stated. "I want to be one of the best pitchers to play at North Carolina and I want to win an ACC Championship."