Osceola's Layner commits to FSU

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Mon. August 23, 2010 | Bob Putnam | Email

After receiving an offer from Florida State on Aug. 10, Taylor Layner was given a few weeks by the Seminoles to decided whether to accept it.

Layner, a pitcher/outfielder for Osceola, did not need that long to make his mind.

On Aug. 20, Layner verbally committed to FSU, the only school that had officially offered him.

"FSU gave me more than enough time to decide," Layner said. "They're one of the top two teams in the nation every year. I've talked to my family about it, and I know I'm going to like it."

For the past two seasons, Layner has been one of the most dominant pitchers in Pinellas County. In 2009, he was the Times all-county pitcher of the year after going 8-0 and leading the county in strikeouts (91) and ERA (0.83). He was first-team, all-county this past season when he went 8-2 with 112 strikeouts and a 2.36 ERA.

But those numbers did not get the attention of many colleges, most of which were concerned about his height (5 feet, 7 inches).

Still, Layner continued to impress in the offseason with strong performances at tournaments in Orlando and West Palm Beach. That was enough for the Seminoles, who offered Layner after he went 12-for-19 during the tournament in West Palm Beach.

Layner said he will be an outfielder and pitcher for FSU. He is part of a stellar 2011 recruiting class in Pinellas that includes Seminole's Joey Krehbiel (USF), Dunedin's Casey Turgeon (Florida) and Dunedin's Mike Clarkson (USF).

"I'm glad an offer finally came through," Layner said. "I don't think the upcoming season will be that stressful. It's a lot more fun knowing where you are going to play in college."

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