Going from high school to college baseball requires a lot of adjustment. There's plenty to trip a player up. But off the field, sometimes, that's where it's most difficult.
"I got homesick really bad," Weekley said Thursday. "Everybody does and I got it bad."
Back on the field for Charleston Southern University, when he first took the mound, well, that was a lesson in hard knocks too.
"That first one was very, very rough. But I improved in every outing after that. I got very confident," he said.
2012 overall was a successful freshman season for the 6-2 righty reliever. In 17 appearances, he struck out 19, walked just 12 batters, and clocked 38 innings of work. His 5.37 ERA might look a little elevated, but he insists that the numbers don't tell the whole story. He got more comfortable as the season unfolded.
Born and raised in James Island, South Carolina, he'd grown up attending games at the Citadel, located just minutes from his family's home. His roots were there, and those roots gave him connections that helped make his college decision easy.
"I knew Coach [Stuart] Lake and really liked him. They ended up offering me forty percent to go there. No one else offered me any money to play, so that made it easier."
The bullpen is also home. That's how he feels about being a reliever, despite making 25 starts when attending James Island High School, where he was named MVP as senior. It's in relief that his comfort level is highest.
"I'm not a sidearm guy...my arm angle is a little lower than 3/4. I don't throw very hard. It's really all about my location and movement. I can put in max effort for two to three innings."
Before the 2012 season began, he had his worries. He didn't know if he could keep all his emotions in check when he thought about taking the hill. As he began putting in his work, he was happily surprised by his own mental fortitude.
"I found that my nerves never got the better of me. I stayed even keeled no matter what hitter I faced. I was never afraid."
The 2013 season bring with it a clear cut goal. That slider needs some work.
"You ask my coach, you ask me, that's it. For sure. I used my fastball and changeup all last year. I've worked on it in the summer and fall and it's back to where it was. And even better than in high school," he said.
As for the social media aspect of his life, he's enjoying the Twitterverse a lot more these days. He was ranked last week on this blog as the 2nd best college baseball player on Twitter (Brian Pruett was 1st).
True to the roots....
"I connect with teammates," he said, then continued. "And it's a way for me to connect with my family and friends. Even though a lot of them live here. "
Follow Austin @AustinWeekley18