Evan Ezell – Maryville College's senior baseball catcher – was named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District First Team as one of the nation's top student-athletes for his combined performance on the field and in the classroom.
Ezell, through CoSIDA's selection on the First Team, will advance on to the Google Cloud Academic All-America ballot. First- and Second-Team Academic All-America honorees will be announced later in June.
"There's really not an academic award out there that Evan is not 100 percent deserving of," Head Coach Cody Church said. "He's just a great student, and he's done so well here in his time at Maryville College. On top of that, you can just look at what he was able to accomplish as a baseball player with all of extracurricular activities. It's just deserving of all those achievements. We're really excited for him."
This All-District mention is Ezell's second of his career, as he earned the distinction following the 2016 season. It joins a host of other awards the senior catcher has caught this year, as well.
Ezell was named the 2018 J.D. Davis Male Athlete of the Year award for Maryville College, as he was a four-time USA South All-Academic Team member. Ezell was an eight-time MC Dean's List honoree. He earned six distinctive Maryville College Academic Awards, while he received the USA South's inaugural Postseason Graduate Scholarship earlier this year.
"That's a pretty exciting moment, because it's kind of something that captivates what I've done here at college, which is be a student-athlete," Ezell said of the scholarship. "The award is not only for just my participation in the USA South Athletic Conference, but also for something that I've done in the classroom."
The scholarship announcement came at the Spring Festival Banquet in LaGrange, Ga. The accolade is a one-year, one-time, $1,500 per-year scholarship awarded annually to one female and one male student-athlete that participated at a USA South institution and met specific criteria academically.
The scholarship is renewable up to two years total, and selections were made by a panel of institutional Faculty Athletic Representatives alongside USA South Athletic Conference Office personnel.
Ezell – a four-year starter for the Scots' baseball squad – was a force behind the plate. However, even more impressive was this Canton, Ga. native's performance in the classroom.
The senior catcher boasts a 3.93 GPA, while majoring in Computer Science at Maryville College. Alongside that, Ezell has spent his summers working at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) – the nation's largest multi-program science and technology laboratory according the lab's website.
"I'm going back [to ORNL] this summer, and that has kind of helped me get into UT," Ezell said. "The program that I am going for is a collaboration between the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. That scholarship is going to help me out as far as tuition and other things for college. I'm really excited about that."
Upon graduation, Ezell plans to focus specifically on urban systems science applications and how to better understand large data sets using machine learning, computer vision and various other data mining techniques. He will be attending the University of Tennessee's Bredesen Center Data Science and Engineering PhD Program.
The Sequoyah High School (Ga.) product said his time at MC has aided him for his next step.
"Maryville College has really prepared me a lot," the catcher said. "Being at a liberal arts college, I've got to do a bunch of different coursework, and I've got experience in a lot of areas. That really prepares me for the UT program. That program is an interdisciplinary program. So, I'm not only doing the heavy technical work on the engineering side, but my focus is in urban systems. I'll have to know the geography side and how both of those combine together. Maryville College has helped me in that aspect, because here, we really focus on how everything connects together."
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior has also taken it upon himself to be involved within the campus life at Maryville. Ezell has been an active member of the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), served as President of the Association for Computing Machinery for two years and took a role as a Scots Science Scholar Peer Mentor for four years.
Within the community, Ezell has been an ambassador for the Scots, as he volunteered at the Girls and Boys Club of Blount County. He has hosted high school programming competitions and volunteered at several youth baseball events.
The senior has maintained his 3.93 GPA, while coupling his coursework and his time in the MC and Blount County communities with his stellar performance on the baseball squad.
Playing on historic Scotland Yard, Ezell has tallied a .324 batting average with 109 career hits. The right-handed hitter has eight doubles, a triple and a homer in his career, while he has recorded 46 runs scored and 44 RBI. He's also stolen a trio of bases while slugging at a .363 clip in 336 career at bats.
Ezell has 640 career putouts and 108 assists while fielding at a .978 mark behind the plate. He's thrown out 54 runners stealing in his career.
However, Ezell said it is the people he has met along the way that has set his time as a Scots' diamondman apart.
"Baseball, my four years, has been a great experience," Ezell said. "It's not just getting to play a sport in college, but it's ultimately the relationships that I've been able to build over the four years that have really meant a lot. I know I'll carry friends that have been my teammates throughout the rest of my life. That's been a good experience to have that group of guys that I know I will always have."
Ezell was also tabbed to the USA South All-Tournament team during the 2016 conference tournament.