SOMERSET, NJ - Two Franklin High School seniors, Madison Straub and Joshua Kuroda-Grauer, signed on the dotted line on Wednesday of their National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic and academic careers in college.
Straub will play soccer at Wilkes University while Kuroda-Grauer will play baseball nearby at Rutgers.
“It feels great to finally sign with Rutgers,” said Kuroda-Grauer, who committed over a year ago last August. “It’s been a dream of mine and to see it come true is amazing.”
At Franklin, Kuroda-Grauer, aside from baseball, also played basketball, but baseball is his main sport and his focus. As for why he opted to attend Rutgers, he cited head coach Steve Owens as well as the reputation the institution has on the academic side.
“One of the reasons I chose Rutgers was because of their great education which will allow me to be set up for a future in whichever career path I choose. On the athletic side, Rutgers is a very competitive program playing in the Big Ten Conference and with the new coaching staff,” Kuroda-Grauer said. “I know they will be able to help me grow as a player and as a person off the field.”
In 2019 for the Warriors, Kuroda-Grauer had 24 hits with 12 RBI and 13 stolen bases according to NJ.com. On the hardwood last winter, he had 183 total points, 180 rebounds, 117 assists, and 54 steals in 25 games.
He will play shortstop for the Scarlet Knights.
“I was being recruited as a shortstop so I believe I’ll be playing there, but I am a versatile and a team first player that can play multiple positions even the outfield so wherever the team needs me to play I’ll play,” Kuroda-Graue said.
“The coach’s message to me was that Rutgers is a team-first program that will have the ability to make a lot of noise with a collective effort of all of the team oriented players. They liked my ability to be able to hit for contact and power as well as play the field clean, but more importantly my energy and my leadership that I carry with myself.”
Last spring, the NJSIAA cancelled all sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Kuroda-Grauer was still able to get a lot of work in during the summer and this fall with his travel team, Full Count. He also played in the Last Dance World Series for Franklin.
“I am definitely looking forward to finishing my last year here at Franklin as well as being able to set an example for the young guys we have coming up in our High school program,” Kuroda-Grauer said.
For Straub the center-back will study in the nursing program. This season, she has a goal and an assist. A year ago, she also scored once and added four assists when she earned Skyland Conference All-Delaware Division Second Team honors.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.
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