Junior outfielder Crum makes ‘no-brainer’ decision, transfers to CMU


Junior outfielder Jacob Crum poses for a portrait on Feb. 10 at Hunter's Ale House. 

Lansing Community College transfer Jacob Crum said his decision to come to CMU was a "no-brainer."

Crum was down to four schools after deciding to transfer from LCC – Missouri State, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Central Michigan.

“I’m a homebody, so CMU is close to home, which makes it easy for my parents to come see me play,” Crum said. “Assistant coach (Jeff) Opalewski hit me up and asked me to come play, so it was a no-brainer.”

Another attractive aspect of CMU was its interior design program, which is Crum’s field of study. 

CMU head coach Steve Jaksa and Opalewski found out about Crum because of the numbers he put up during his sophomore season and relationships with other in-state coaches. 

“He was putting up great numbers, so we reached out to his coaches and the people who coach against him," Jaksa said. “There’s a trust you build with the coaches around the country, but especially in the state and in the Midwest. When they say, ‘this is the guy,’ then we know he’s someone to (recruit).”

In his sophomore 2017 season at LCC, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound outfielder hit .409 with 12 home runs, 59 RBIs, nine triples, 14 doubles and 20 stolen bases. Crum earned National Junior College Athletic Association Region XII First Team honors. 

“The competition we faced as we got down the road during the season really helped prepare me for CMU,” Crum said. “Coach (Andrew) Huard took a hands-on approach and really pushed me to be who I am.”

Speaking of the competition, Crum was able to participate in the NJCAA World Series. Lansing Community College finished the season 41-17, losing in Game 2 to Mercer County Community College in the semifinal round, 9-2. 

Since coming to Mount Pleasant, Crum has bonded with the outfielders, especially fellow juniors Daniel Robinson, Ty Rollin and Dazon Cole. 

“(Mount Pleasant) is a great city and I love the campus,” Crum said. “I love the guys and it’s been a great transition. Coming in, I knew CMU was a very historic program.”

One of CMU’s leaders, junior right-handed pitcher Michael Brettell, has seen a ton of positives from Crum since he stepped foot on-campus. 

“He’s a great guy, great player,” Brettell said. “He’s fast and that’s always helpful in our outfield. I’m excited to see how he progresses this season.”

Jaksa said Crum should get a reasonable amount of playing time in the outfield even though he is in his first year as a member of the Chippewas. 

“Right now, he’s in the outfield,” Jaksa said. “His fitting in is like everyone else. We have a plan for him and he will play. We are all excited he’s here. He’s going to be a really good player for us.” 

In the 2017 season, CMU earned the regular season Mid-American Conference title, but fell short in the conference tournament, losing to Ohio in back-to-back games. 

Crum aims to help capitalize with a MAC Tournament Championship this season. 

“I’m excited to win a MAC championship and that’s what it’s all about,” Crum said. “It’s not about me, it’s about the team.”