Around The Horn

Florida State's early recruiting class in baseball will certainly have a local flavor to it. Chiles High teammates, pitcher/catcher <b>Jimmy Marshall</b> and infielder <b>Thomas Oravetz,</b> signed with the Seminoles on Friday in front family, friends and teammates. On Wednesday, pitcher/first baseman <b>Travis Burge</b> of Port. St. Joe signed with FSU. Additionally, North Florida Christian shortstop <b>Sean Stuyverson</b> has committed to the Seminoles.

The signing ceremony was still 20 minutes away -- plenty of time for Jimmy Marshall and Chiles High baseball coach Greg Jones to finish their Ping-Pong showdown.

After somehow getting the best of Jones, Marshall hustled into the Timberwolves' baseball locker room to get dressed. He quickly changed out of jeans and a T-shirt into a long-sleeved shirt, tie and slacks.

A few minutes later, Marshall fulfilled a childhood dream by signing with Florida State.

In fact, Marshall and Timberwolves teammate Thomas Oravetz each signed with childhood favorite FSU on Friday afternoon in a ceremony before family, friends and teammates.

Jones, the program's veteran coach who won a state title at Leon High, also played at FSU from 1976-78.

Marshall and Oravetz are expected to help make up one of the Seminoles' top recruiting classes.

Marshall, a talented pitcher/catcher, is ranked as the nation's 102nd high school player by Prospects Plus. Marshall, an invited participant to some of the country's top showcases last summer, is a right-handed pitcher with a 91-93 mph fastball, according to professional scouts.

"It's awesome. It's going to be so cool to finally be able to go play with guys you watched on TV and you go see at the games," Marshall said.

"It's exciting that I am going to be part of it."

Although he's expected to be a potential high draft selection as well next June, Marshall said his heart has always been at FSU.

"I am going to see how it develops," Marshall said.

"Major-league baseball, I think, is a huge step to take instead of college. It would take a lot for me to actually sign and go. I just need to see how everything goes."

Oravetz is considered one of the area's top middle infielders.

A left-handed batter, Oravetz hit .438 last season for the Timberwolves and can play second, shortstop and third base. He is the son of FSU's veteran Director of Sports Medicine, Randy Oravetz. His older brother, Jonathan, currently attends FSU.

"It's definitely a dream come true," Oravetz said.

"It's amazing, because I've been watching FSU my whole life. I know a lot of kids over there. My Mom, my dad went there. And my brother is going there as well. It should be good. Should make for an easy transition."

Also on Friday, Tampa Gaither pitcher Caleb Graham signed with FSU during a ceremony at school.

Earlier this week, left-handed pitcher Travis Burge of Port. St. Joe signed with the Seminoles.

'This is definitely a dream come true," Burge said.

"I attended a Mike Martin Baseball Camp when I was 12 years old and I was inspired as I listened to Coach (Mike) Martin's words of encouragement.

"I set a goal from that point and after a lot of hard work it paid off and now I am a real Seminole. I am very excited and can't wait to pitch at that level and especially on from that mound."

Also, North Florida Christian shortstop Sean Stuyverson has committed to FSU. Also a receiver on the football team, NFC opens the state playoffs at home tonight.

One of the nation's top players -- North Forrest (Miss.) catcher Kyle Maxie -- also was scheduled to sign with FSU earlier this week.

Maxie, a three-time All-Division 8-2A selection and two-time Class 2A All-State pick by the Mississippi Association of Coaches, hit .505 with 25 doubles, five home runs and 29 RBIs as a junior.

And, as baseball web site Section B reported earlier this week, catcher Ruairi O'Connor of Chicago signed with the Seminoles and is expected to enroll at FSU in January.

FSU also has received a commitment from pitcher/shortstop Buster Posey, who is the nation's 18th-ranked player, according to Prospects Plus.


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