All-American Juco OF Visits MSU

Itawamba Community College (Fulton, MS) second-team All-American freshman outfielder Ladarrius Cole unofficially visited Mississippi State Monday morning.

"It went well," said Cole, who played his high school ball at Nettleton (MS) High School. "The coaches were cool. I met (MSU head) Coach (John) Cohen and two assistant coaches and talked to all of them. They are a young team but I like the way they are headed. I think they will do pretty good next year.

"I liked everything and I could see myself (playing) there."

And the MSU coaches could see him playing at State as well.

"They said they came to one of my games and that they were impressed with the way that I played," said Cole. "They said that they like the way that I approach the game and how I hit and contribute such as getting on base and scoring."

While a little surprised that State is recruiting him, he's very pleased that they are.

"It surprised me that they started recruiting me," said the 5-9, 190-pounder who is also being recruited by Florida, Alabama and Auburn. "It's exciting coming from a juco and having an SEC school like Mississippi State looking at me."

Although he's not that knowledgeable about Mississippi State, he has attended a game there and knows a couple of players, past and present.

"I came to one of their games last year and liked the way they played," said Cole. "I played in high school with (current MSU baseball player) Luke Adkins and I know (former MSU baseball player) Jeffrey Rea."

Cole explained what he feels are his strong points as a ballplayer.

"I think my strong point is when I'm on the base paths because I think I have a lot of speed and contribute by scoring runs when I get on the base," said Cole, who hit.465 with 13 home runs and 69 RBI this past season, which were ranked 20th, 13th and 19th nationally. "I also work hard in the weight room. I had power in high school but I really started developing it in college because their workout is totally different than it was in high school."

Obviously, with the kind of talent that he has, Major League Baseball could figure in the picture with him. He talked about this Wednesday's Major League Baseball Draft.

"Nobody has told me where I stand on the draft," said Cole. "(The teams) have just sent me a lot of questionnaires and I'm filling out a lot of paperwork, but I haven't heard anything about the draft this year."

As of now, it's a wait and see type situation.

"If I get drafted, I'll see what kind of fit it is for me," said Ladarrius Cole. "If it's not a good fit, then I'll go (back) to (Itawamba Community College)."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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