The Major League Baseball deadline is August 15th. Why did you decide to make your decision now?
"I knew that I needed to go ahead and decide. I didn't need to drag it out with the (Texas) Rangers. I respected them enough to let them know about my decision. And I respected Coach Cohen and his coaches and I wanted to let them know ahead of time. I just felt like right now was a good time to decide so I would have enough time to prepare for college."
When did you contact the Texas Rangers?
"I called them about 9:45 to 10:00 this morning."
What did they say?
"They are a great organization. They handled it very well. Of course, they wanted me to sign very badly, but they said they respected my decision. They said they wanted me to be happy. And if I had any doubts about signing pro there is no need to sign, just go ahead and go to college. And I felt going to college first was better for me. They said they would see me in three years."
So, they won't be coming back with any counter offers? They will honor what you told them?
"Yes sir, they said they wouldn't come back in with any more offers. They said they are going to respect my decision because they could tell that I wanted to go to school."
It has been reported that you turned down over $400,000. Is that correct?
"I was asked this morning by (a reporter) if it was above $400,000. I didn't give him an exact amount but I did say that it was above that. No disrespect to any of you but I feel like I need to keep that exact amount to myself. (The Texas Rangers) weren't even close (to what I wanted) so I knew I was going to Mississippi State anyway. That's why I went ahead and made my decision."
When you talked to Coach Cohen what was his reaction?
"He was excited. I kind of messed with him a little bit (laugh). I told him, 'Coach, I talked to the Rangers this morning.' And I kind of sounded sad when I was talking to him. I said, 'well, it looks like you are just going to have to put up with me for at least three years.' He got excited when I said that."
Could you tell the changes in his voice during the conversation?
"Yes sir, I could. He was excited when I called him and he answered the phone. Then, when I started telling him that I had talked to the Rangers, he kind of just sat there and listened waiting to hear what I had to say. Then when I told him he was excited."
Now that you have made your decision, how do you feel?
"I feel like I have removed a load off my shoulders. This has been dragging on since before baseball season even started. It's finally over now. And I feel like I have made the right choice."
What were your thoughts pretty much all along the process, going to State or possibly going pro?
"Going to Mississippi State has been my thought the entire time unless it was life-changing money. I pretty much knew I wanted to go go college and get the college experience and play SEC baseball. I just couldn't turn that down. I didn't want to turn pro and then regret not being able to play in the SEC."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.