Gavin Collins Talks About His MSU Commitment

El Toro (CA) High School 2013 catcher Gavin Collins, one of the elite prospects in the nation, talks about his commitment to Mississippi State.

  • Name: Gavin Collins
  • Classification: 2013
  • Position: Catcher
  • HT, WT: 6-foot-0, 195
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • High School: El Toro High School (Lake Forest, CA)
  • Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State. His other three finalists were Arizona State, Fresno State and Long Beach State. Had numerous other West Coast teams strongly interested in him.

    "I committed to Mississippi State a couple of weeks ago," said Collins. "I had taken an official (visit) three weekends prior to that.

    "I loved the atmosphere, I loved the college town. The coaching staff was awesome. All the players were awesome. I just felt like I was home there. I just feel like Mississippi State is leaning toward some big wins. And I feel like they can do well in their conference and even more, the College World Series."

    Two Mississippi State coaches in particular impressed him.

    "(Assistant) Coach (Nick) Mingione was my primary recruiter," said Collins. "He is an awesome guy who is so energetic all the time. He has so much energy and puts so much effort into the program. And he does an outstanding job with the recruiting. He is just a top-notch guy who is one of the best.

    "(Head) Coach (John) Cohen really stood out to me. He really loves the program so much. And he emphasizes that it is a family with one common goal, winning. He is an awesome guy. That is why I decided that Mississippi State was the right choice for me."

    And Collins had a lot of teams to choose from.

    "I was interested in Long Beach State, Arizona State, Fresno State and Mississippi State," said Collins, referring to the four schools that made his final list. "I received my first offer about a year ago from the University of San Diego. Oregon also recruited me. I was mainly recruited by west coast schools. Mississippi State was about it from the south."

    Mississippi State's coaching staff first found out about Collins this past summer when he played in a tournament in Georgia with his summer travel team.

    "I played at a complex in Georgia this summer," said Collins. "My coach asked me if I would be interested in playing in the SEC. And I told him, 'of course, I would.' That's one of my main goals, to play in the SEC. He hooked me up with Coach Mingione. And he came to a couple of my games and we started talking. He talked to me about coming in for an official. Then, he saw me play a couple of more times at North Carolina with the USA team. I then came (to Mississippi State on my official visit) to see everything."

    Rated a 9.5 on a 10.0 scale by national scouting service Perfect Game, Collins described his overall game.

    "I feel like my bat and my arm are two of my strengths," he said. "I want to continue to improve my catching and my knowledge of catching, the pitchers on the mound. I have really grown to love catching. It's my favorite position now."

    He's looking forward to his future at Mississippi State.

    "Mississippi State is going to be a great experience and a different experience, which is awesome," said Collins. "I think I will love it there."

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

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