COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Shane Vinsant, one of the top tennis recruits in the country, has signed a national letter of intent with Texas A&M University and Aggie head men's tennis coach Steve Denton.
"Bob (McKinley) and I are ecstatic in having Shane play his collegiate tennis career here at Texas A&M," Denton said. "He is one of the top juniors in the world and could have chosen any school in the country. We are very pleased he selected Texas A&M. We know his passion and his work ethic will be a tremendous asset to our team and I know our guys can't wait for him to be a part of our Aggie tennis family."
Vinsant, a righthanded player, has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation on the Tennisrecruiting.net list. His highest combined International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranking is No. 19 and this year in ITF play he has a record of 9-8 in singles and 20-7 in doubles. He was a finalist in singles and doubles at the Kalamazoo National Junior Championships in 2010 in the 16 and under division. He reached the semifinals of the 2011 Easter Bowl held in Palm Springs in singles and won the doubles title with partner Mitchell Krueger. The doubles tandem also won the Spring International Championships held in Carson, California. Vinsant has traveled all over the world to play in junior tournaments and along with partner Krueger, were finalists at the Italian and French Junior Championships.
"I have gained a lot of experience playing in Junior Grand Slam events and playing in ITF tournaments in Europe and Australia," Vinsant said. "I feel like I have a pretty good all-around game and I love to compete."
Vinsant, who was born in Nacogdoches, is the son of Dave and Cheryl Vinsant. With a father who is a tennis coach, the younger Vinsant hit the courts at the age of three. The family moved to the Dallas area when Vinsant was 12 and they currently live in Keller, Texas, where Mr. Dave Vinsant serves as the tennis coach at Keller High School. The younger Vinsant is also coached by David Anderson from Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas.
"My decision really came down to which school would give me the best chance of continuing my tennis career on a professional level," Vinsant said. "You can't get any better than Coach (Steve) Denton and Coach (Bob) McKinley. They were both successful professional tennis players and they are terrific coaches."
"I also think the support tennis receives from the athletic department and the community is outstanding," Vinsant said. "They have some of the largest crowds in the country and I look forward to being a part of the Aggie tennis family."
Vinsant narrowed his final choices to Texas, TCU, Michigan and Texas A&M.Under the direction of Coach Denton and Coach McKinley, the Aggies have posted back-to-back Top 10 seasons, a Big 12 Championship and a school-record 29 victories in match play in 2011, as well as the 2011 NCAA Doubles National Champion duo of Austin Krajicek and Jeff Dadamo. Denton has put together excellent recruiting classes with Vinsant joining other top Blue Chip recruits such as sophomore Junior Ore, ranked as high as No. 3 in the land, redshirt freshman Jackson Withrow who was as high as No. 6 in the land and current true freshman Jeremy Efferding who ranked as high as No. 5 in the country. Vinsant will join the team in the fall of 2012.