FORT WALTON BEACH — In searching for his dream school, Jayden Krause knew his education came first.


Basketball, no matter how much the Choctaw senior enjoys it, was always going to be secondary in his decision making process. He dreams of being an engineer, an academic path many student athletes avoid due to its intense rigor.


Waynesburg University, a private school with about 2,500 students in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, had just what he was looking for, Krause giving his verbal commitment to Yellow Jackets coach Tim Fusina on Monday.


“I’ve really looked forward to going to college to play basketball, and so after I made my final decision I was pretty excited about it,” Krause said.


Krause also fit Waynesburg’s requirements perfectly; the Yellow Jackets were looking for a perimeter player with some size, and Krause, who averaged two points and 1.5 rebounds off the bench for the 22-7 Indians, stands 6-foot-2.


The two got in touch “a couple of months” ago through the Next College Student Athlete network, and Krause said he felt the Fusina and the program treated their athletes as students first.


“They both seemed very engaged in their players and wanting to develop them not only on a basketball level, but as people and student-wise,” Krause said. “The guys, they all work hard to make sure they keep everybody else’s grades up.”


That desire to do well in the classroom will be pivotal, considering he plans to join Waynesburg’s “Three/Two Program.”


“They’re a smaller school and not a lot of smaller schools have engineering program, but they had a program called the ’Three/Two Program,’” Krause said. “I’ll spend three years there for a math degree and then go somewhere else for an engineering degree.


“That’s one of the big things that helped me make the decision.”


With that degree, Krause said he’s interested in perusing a career in electrical engineering, systems engineering or biomechanical engineering, developing various prosthesis.


In the meantime, Krause said he’s simply ready to explore a new locale and play the sport he loves. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been unable to visit his new home, and he cannot wait to explore Waynesburg.


“The big thing (I’m most excited to do) is obviously to play basketball, but also to go to a new environment ’cause I haven’t been up to Pennsylvania or the area,” Krause said.