Why Brooke Blankenship Chose Florida State
Brooke Blankenship’s first sport growing up wasn’t softball. But as she grew her love for the game, she set her eyes on playing college softball for a Division I program. As the No. 15 recruit in Softball America’s 2021 Top 100 Recruiting Rankings, the freshman from River Ridge High School in Hudson, Fla. chose to attend Florida State University.
Softball America spoke with Blankenship about why she chose FSU, her softball journey and the time she has spent in the Seminoles program so far. See below for SA's full interview with one of the top college softball freshmen in the country.
Softball America: Why did you choose Florida State?
Brooke Blankenship: At a young age, I was able to watch Florida State play in a super regional against Michigan and that was really my first experience watching college softball. I got lucky enough to see Courtney Senas hit a walk-off home run and send Florida State to the Women’s College World Series. It motivated me to become the best possible player I could be. Once I was old enough to start getting recruited, I was looking at all these schools that had interest in me and something that stood out to me about Florida State was the family atmosphere that Coach Alameda and the team creates.
SA: How has the adjustment been from playing travel and high school softball to playing for a major Division I program?
BB: I came into the school in the fall, and obviously doing a college load of classes on top of softball is not always easy. So, I had to pick up a time management skill quickly.
With college softball, the pace of play is a lot quicker, and with the situations that I have to think about when I am on the field and up to bat, it has been really cool to see it all come together.
SA: If softball wasn’t your first sport, why did you decide to stick with it?
BB: As a kid, I did gymnastics from basically the time that I walked. I was still in gymnastics by the time that I started playing softball. I got into softball because my younger sister started to play it, and I was eager to get into it as well. Soon enough, I quit doing gymnastics and focused on softball.
SA: As you continue your academic and athletic career at Florida State, what are you most excited about?
BB: I’m really excited to continue to play with my teammates that I have met this school year. The seniors and upperclassmen have really taken me under their wing and showed me the way.
SA: Over the course of your softball journey, who has been the most impactful person to you?
BB: To play at a high level, not only do you have to be locked in, but the people around you must be as well. My parents, also, from the time that I wanted to start playing softball, drove me everywhere that I needed to be and found me the best coaches in the area. My dad built us a batting cage in the backyard and is the best front-tosser.
SA: Are there any tips that you can give regarding the recruiting process?
BB: I would say, don’t settle until you find a program where you can really be yourself and be willing to work hard and wake up early. Just do the little things, and don’t forget that it’s just a game. So when things get tough, remember that.