Shawnee Mission East senior Jake Randa changes college plans, now heading to program that won 2015 junior college title

Jake Randa announced this month that he will be playing college baseball in Florida instead of at Western Kentucky. Photo by Don Austin.
Jake Randa announced this month that he will be playing college baseball in Florida instead of at Western Kentucky. Photo by Don Austin.

Shawnee Mission East senior outfielder Jake Randa is trying to follow in his father Joe’s footsteps to the big leagues. And a move he announced this week will reflect the first steps his dad took at the college level.

Over the weekend, Randa decided to decommit from Division I program Western Kentucky University, where he signed early last year, and commit to Northwest Florida State College — a junior college program that won the NJCAA national title in 2015.

Randa initially committed to WKU because he liked the coaching staff and said he fell in love with the campus in Bowling Green, Ky. But when he began to weigh his options, he Niceville, Fla., might be a better fit.

“I fell in love more with Northwest Florida than Western Kentucky,” Randa said. “It’s a big jump, and hopefully maybe [it will] lead to better things in the future.”

Western Kentucky’s staff wants to continue to have dialogue open with the standout batter in hopes that Randa may look to jump to their program after his two-year career at Northwest Florida State.

The move also opens the door for Randa to potentially be drafted earlier than if he went to an NCAA school. MaxPreps named Randa the best high school player in Kansas for the 2017 season.

Jake’s father Joe played 12 years in the Major Leagues with five teams. Joe was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1991 in the 11th round out of Tennessee. Before he was a Volunteer, Joe played for Indian River Community College.

Jake Randa talks about his dream of going to the big leagues