ULI FERNSLER LHP / 1B / NOVI, MI / 2025
Rankings STATERANK: 12 / POS: 4
NOVI – With the new recruiting rules, an Aug. 1 birthday proved to be “crazy” for Uli Fernsler.
“It was pretty hectic,” Fernsler said of the first day college coaches could reach out to those in the 2025 class. “I was sitting on the phone all day. I picked out who I wanted to visit but then it was stressful again. It was hard picking out where to go.”
There were visits to West Virginia, Clemson and Michigan State, but in the end the fourth-rated junior left-handed pitcher in Michigan decided on a home even further away.
“I was thinking I wanted to go somewhere a little warmer,” Fernsler related. “In watching college baseball, it seems schools in the south play better so I wanted to go south, but I wasn’t sure all the way to Texas.”
But that is the case after making a commitment to Texas Christian University.
“They sent their pitching coach to watch me at the Future Games,” Fernsler reflected. “They called on Aug. 1 and asked me to come on a visit. I went and they made me an offer.”
The Novi High School 11th-grader liked what he saw on the trip south during Labor Day weekend, with the temperature at 75 degrees in Fort Worth.
“I liked how invested the coaches were, the team culture and how well things were run,” Fernsler explained. “I met the players, saw campus and the coaches were great. They seemed interested in me. Plus, TCU has a history of developing left-handed pitchers.”
That helped make a decision easier for Fernsler, who only recently thought about college baseball in his future.
“For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to play in the major leagues but I didn’t watch or follow college baseball much,” Fernsler admitted. “In high school is when my recruitment started and last year I started to watch college baseball and I really liked it.”
The possibilities of playing at the next level became realistic to Fernsler in the fall of freshman year before the rule change.
“I got a little interest and thought I might be able to go bigger than I was thinking,” the 12th-ranked 2025 in the state said. “I wasn’t throwing hard going into high school and wasn’t sure where I needed to be at with the different level, but after fall I started throwing harder and got an offer from Oakland. I decided to wait and I feel it paid off for me.”
The Future Games proved invaluable.
“Before the Future Games I wasn’t hearing much, just posting about my high school season and travel ball on Twitter,” Fernsler noted. “But the Future Games gave me a good opportunity to get seen and that really helped. I’m not sure who I would have talked to if I hadn’t gone, but definitely not as many as I did.”
TCU saw a lot of potential in the 6-3 190-pounder.
“In talking with coach (Dave) Lawn, he really liked my mound presence and the changeup I was throwing,” Fernsler related about the pitching coach of the Horned Frogs. “He saw good mechanics and said he knew the velo would be there or come later.”
That has been ongoing in his development over the last few years.
“I’ve always had good control,” explained Fernsler, who has been throwing a changeup since he was eight. “But the past couple years I’ve started growing and it’s brought a velo change. I began to throw harder while mixing in the change and developing my breaking ball. In total I grew more, got more velo and that helped with mixing speeds in making me a more dominant pitcher.”
Coach Anthony Hermelyn, high school pitching coach Dave Beaton, the head of the Bulls organization Sean Gallagher and high school head coach Rick Green have been instrumental in development and recruitment according to Fernsler, who also emphasized the importance of support given by his parents in helping his baseball journey reach the point of a commitment to TCU.
“What a great feeling when I realized what I’d done,” Fernsler said. “I never really thought about it but once I made the decision it was a big weight off the shoulders. I’m excited to go, but I’ve got to get to work. It’s a serious program and I’ve got to get better. There’s happiness, but also a sense of urgency.”
The southpaw, a 4.0 student who threw a complete game in pitching Novi to the Division I state championship this past high school season, believes he has a lot to provide the Big 12 Conference program at TCU, which has finished first in the league two of the past three seasons.
“I’ll bring a good attitude every day,” Fernsler said. “I’ll try to get better and to the best I can with every opportunity I get.”
There is more that the 16-year-old is anticipating as a student/athlete in college.
“I’m excited to live the baseball life,” Fernsler concluded. “I want to try and help the team win and help them get back to Omaha again. I look forward to contributing and winning a national championship this time.”