Dalton Mauldin was new to campus this fall, but a few students recognized him immediately.
The transfer baseball player and singer has more than 68,000 Instagram followers, 71,000 Twitter followers and averages 44,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
Mauldin, a transfer from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., started his social media fame on Vine, posting six second videos of him singing.
“The first singing video I ever posted on there, [it] just kept being re-vined,” said Mauldin, an exercise science major.
Mauldin stays busy between interacting with fans, playing baseball and studying. He said he keeps all of his social media notification turned off, but he is still recognized by fans.
“[Getting stopped by fans] happens kind of often. When I first came here, a few people recognized me and I took pictures with them,” Mauldin said. Tana Whited, senior softball player, knew of Mauldin before he transferred to Trevecca.
“I started following him around May. I guess I just scrolled across him on Twitter and saw him singing covers, so I started following him,” Whited said. “Once he released his single I downloaded it and listened to it a bunch.”
Whited was surprised when she heard Mauldin was coming to Trevecca.
“I was like, ‘No way this famous kid is coming here.’ Once I met him I realized he was super nice and nothing like what you would expect. He is one of the sweetest guys and super fun, cool dude,” Whited said.
Ryan Schamlz, head men’s baseball coach, is happy to have the in fielder on the team. “Dalton is a great kid. His recruiting process was very unique. He was playing baseball this summer in Wyoming. His coach, Jason Hamrick who’s a Trevecca alum calls me and says, “I have a player who wants to come to Trevecca”. He told me about Dalton, who he was, he couldn’t praise him enough, said Schamlz.
Mauldin said the incident was a coincidence, because he was looking into transferring to a Christian University.
“This summer I was playing baseball in Wyoming and one of our coaches, he was there volunteering, told me he was an alumnus and I was actually looking into Coach Schmalz at that time, it was funny how it worked out,” said Mauldin.
Schmalz said Mauldin is grateful to be here, and balances baseball and his fans well.
“He’s really appreciative to be here. After every single practice this year he has come up to me and said ‘Hey coach, thank you,’” said Schamlz. “People all over the place know about him and want to take their picture. He is so gracious and handles that exceptionally well.”
Mauldin had a goal to make it to Music City, especially after his social media success.
“I started playing my junior year of high school going into my senior year. It started as a hobby, one of my buddies gave me one of his guitars because I told him I wanted to start playing” said Mauldin. “Once I started to have a few videos go viral and getting pretty good, I was like, ‘Maybe I could do this.’ And being in Nashville was a must.”
He has big dreams, with music taking the center stage.
“One of my goals is to finish my education for sure. I would like to play [baseball] for as long as I can, but playing music would be my ultimate goal,” Mauldin said. “Hopefully within five years from now I’ll be signed with a label, doing tours and all that good stuff.”
Mauldin said it is hard to say whether he likes baseball or singing more.
“I really can’t answer that, I don’t know. I’ve played baseball since I was four, so it’s my first love,” Mauldin said. “I always sang when I was little, I didn’t really start developing a passion for it until a couple years ago.”
On the field Dalton is waiting to hear back from the NCAA to determine his classification.
“He has a pending medical red shirt, most likely he’ll have a year after this, but there is a chance that this could be his last year,” said Schamlz.
Mauldin is thankful for his team’s support for both his game and his singing.
“Their support really helps a lot, telling me ‘You need to cover this song,’ or ‘When are you going to release another song? We want to hear it,’” Mauldin said. “Coach Schmalz has some friends in the music business. He’s been trying to help me out and put me in contact with some of those guys.”