Huntsville, Ala.--Originally a commitment to North Carolina, Huntsville High standout junior pitcher Drew Talley backed off that decision last November and on Monday he chose to stay in-state, picking the Auburn Tigers over a host of other schools.
Growing up following the school and program, he said once Coach Butch Thompson, Brad Bohannon and the rest of the staff got on the Plains it was an easy decision for him.
“I have been coming to Auburn since I was little,” the 6-3, 184 Talley tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. “I have been an Auburn fan my whole life and I have known that if I ever got the opportunity to play at Auburn that’s where I wanted to be.
“I finally got the opportunity,” he added. “After talking with Coach Butch and Coach Bo that’s when I decided to make my commitment to Auburn.”
As a sophomore Talley chose the Tar Heels and was comfortable in his decision to play for one of the nation’s top programs the last decade, but as time went along he said for him he just had the feeling that it wasn’t the right fit.
Much of the reason for that was having Thompson and the new staff on the Plains. Known for developing pitchers and getting them to the next level, he made a big impression on Talley when they finally spoke and with that bond and the one formed with Bohannon it was an easy call.
“They’re a big reason why I’m coming to Auburn,” Talley said. “They’re the best coaches in the nation. I don’t think it could get any better. I feel like they’re going to get me where I need to be and make me the best player possible.
“I hadn’t talked to Auburn before because when I was committed to North Carolina, Coach Butch was at Mississippi State and Coach Bo was still at Kentucky,” he added. “I really had no contact with them yet.
“About a week after they were there I talked to them and made my decision. I decommitted not only for them, but I felt like after a while that North Carolina wasn’t really the home for me. Auburn, I knew that’s where I wanted to be. Once I saw the coaches there I knew that’s where I had to go.”
Talley continues the impressive in-state run for Thompson and his staff in the 2017 class with teammates Judd Ward and Cody Greenhill from Russellville, Carter Bowen from Cullman and recent commitment Tanner Burns from Decatur all committed to the Tigers. Talley said having that group of guys together makes him feel very good about the future of Auburn baseball.
“The 2017 class is going to be legit,” Talley said. “I know most of the players, but I know some of them personally. That’s pretty awesome going to play college baseball with some of your buddies. Not only that, they’re all really, really talented and I can’t wait to see what this class is going to bring.”
A talented right-handed pitcher, the 6-3 Talley was 7-2 last season with an ERA of 2.30 and can throw all three pitches for strikes. That’s something that Thompson wants out of potential weekend starter and Talley said that’s what he does best.
“I’m about 88-90, but I can bump it up to 92,” Talley says of how hard he can throw. “My main thing is my curveball. I can throw it in any count for a strike and keep them off-balance with that. I can also throw my changeup for a strike, so I can throw all three pitches.”