Planning Ahead: Drake Austin's journey to QU pays off - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Planning Ahead: Drake Austin's journey to QU pays off

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QU senior Drake Austin reaches for higher standards both on and off the diamond. QU senior Drake Austin reaches for higher standards both on and off the diamond.

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- The path to Quincy University for baseball player Drake Austin wasn't traditional.

Following his freshman year at Northern Iowa the baseball program was shut down, and eventually he found his way to QU where he has been a model of excellence.

"I started off at the University of Northern Iowa, and honestly thought I was on top of the world coming out of high school," Austin told WGEM Sports.

"There were great things ahead, and then all of a sudden it was like everything was yanked out from underneath me. It really came as a shock UNI when they cut the baseball program."

Drake Austin didn't play on coming to Quincy. He didn't plan on playing for the Hawks, but he feels like it's right where he belongs.

"My journey was unique, and I had to overcome a lot of adversity, but I strongly believe I'm better for it."

Over the course of two years under head coach Josh Rabe, Drake has taken his game to another level on the field, becoming a staple in the Hawks line-up.

"He's been a game changer for us," Josh Rabe expressed.  

"He bought into whatever we were doing right off the bat and he's ran with it. He has improved tremendously both in the field and at the plate."

"Being able to work with coach Rabe for a solid year, knowing I'm coming back to the same program, that was huge for me," Austin added.

More impressive and more important than his numbers on the diamond, are his numbers in the classroom, where he holds down a nearly perfect GPA with a double major in computer science and mathematics.

"Everybody's dream is to become a professional baseball player, but at the same time you've always got to have a back-up plan," Austin expressed.

"Regardless of what that back-up plan is, you want to excel in everything you do."

"I've always put a 100% effort in everything I do just to try to excel."

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