Baseball Signees Update

[Premium Article] Over the past couple of seasons, the Mississippi State football staff has ventured into the state of Georgia for several recruits, especially the most recent signing class of 2003. However, it seems as though head coach Ron Polk and his staff are also hand-picking athletes from the Peach Tree State. No doubt that the time Polk, as well as MSU pitching coach Daron Shoenrock, spent in Georgia helped to further the relationships with the Georgia high school system.

Which brings us to Bulldog signee Jeremiah Boling, a 6-foot-2 and 175-pound pitcher hailing from Rome, Georgia. Although his team, Rome High School, has gotten off to a slow start in 2003 due to inexperience and rain-outs, Boling is currently enjoying a solid senior campaign. Boling has produced a 4-1 mark with 55 strikeouts in 28 innings of action. Boling has also averaged .450 at the plate with three homers and 20 RBIs. But Boling noted that his future is on the hill.

"I definitely expect to just pitch at the next level," said Boling, who also drew interest from Georgia, Georgia State and Southern Mississippi. "I have hit the ball well but the pitching I have faced has not been the greatest. But for me, my season has gone good and I feel like I have pitched good, too. Our team is struggling, mainly because we are so young. We have a lot of freshman playing and only two seniors.

"My fastball is around 85 or 86 and I have also been throwing a slider, curve and changeup this year. My main focus was to get where I could throw all those pitches for strikes and cut down on my walks. I also worked on getting that first pitch over for a strike to get ahead of the hitters. If I can locate all my pitches, then that will just make me more effective."

Boling plans on playing with the 'Bama Bombers this summer, a summer squad located in Hartsville, Ala.

"We should have a pretty good team this summer," said Boling. "I know there are a lot of SEC signees from other schools playing and I think a couple of Mississippi State signees are playing, too. So there should be a lot of talent on the team and a lot of competition."

In Rome, Ga., the game of baseball is treated almost like religion, all the way from the youth leagues battling among the nation's best to the prep level. And having that tradition is one of the aspects that attracted Boling to Starkville.

"I just really loved the tradition they have with Mississippi State baseball," admitted Boling. "I also liked their top-notch facilities and great coaching staff.

"I really hope to play my first year. But if I have to redshirt, then I would be okay with that, too. But if I can contribute right away, I know that I will get that chance. It will be very exciting when it comes time to get there and start playing college baseball."

Paul Jones is a recruiting correspondent for Gene's Page. Paul, also a sports writer for the Starkville Daily News, can be reached by email at

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