2015 Catcher Commits To MSU

Desoto Central (MS) High School 2015 catcher Austin Riley has committed to Mississippi State. He joins his cousin and high school teammate, Keegan James, as the two latest Mississippi State commitments.

  • Name: Austin Riley
  • Classification: 2015
  • High School: Desoto Central (MS) High School
  • Position: Catcher/Righthand Pitcher/Third Baseman
  • HT-WT: 6-foot-2, 215
  • Colleges of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State. Also considered LSU, Ole Miss

  • "I called (MSU Head) Coach (John) Cohen Christmas Eve night and committed then," said Austin. "He seemed excited about it. I felt great when I told him. It was pretty amazing."

    He explained why he chose Mississippi State over a couple of other SEC colleges.

    "I grew up a big fan of Mississippi State's," said the youngster, who also considered LSU and Ole Miss. "My entire life my dream has been to play there.

    "I like my high school a lot and Mississippi State kind of feels like my high school. It feels like I already know their coaches. I guess you could say it feels like family there. The atmosphere there feels great."

    He explained why he came away so impressed with the Mississippi State coaches that recruited him.

    "My main recruiter from State was (Assistant Coach) Nick Mingione," said Austin, who was recruited as a catcher by Mississippi State. "He's a great guy, I love him. I've been to an LSU camp and they feel like college coaches. But Nick feels like a real good friend that I have known for a long time.

    "(And Assistant) Coach (Butch) Thompson also recruited me for State. I really like him, too. Like Coach Mingione, he feels like a really good friend.

    "The coaching staff affected my decision about 75%."

    Austin explained in detail Mississippi State's recruitment of him.

    "We (Austin and Keegan James) went to a camp there in the spring and Coach Mingione kept us after the camp and we talked to Coach Cohen," said Austin. "They told us that they wanted us to come back and also to keep in touch with them.

    "They wanted us to come down for a football game so we came down for one of their football games. (During that visit) they showed us around. Then, we came back to another camp in the fall. They were still impressed with us after that camp. They said they wanted us to come back down with our entire family and talk more in advance."

    The next time they came Mississippi State offered a scholarship. And Austin committed a few days later.

    In addition to Mississippi State, Austin also received recruiting interest from two other SEC schools.

    "LSU and Ole Miss were also recruiting me," said Austin. "Ole Miss wanted me to call them and I called them but I haven't gone to anything there.

    "(Ole Miss Assistant) Coach (Carl) Lafferty said he had heard good things about me and had seen me pitch. He said he liked my velocity and my form and that I looked like a good athlete.

    "(After their camp) LSU said they liked my body size. As a big kid, they said I can move well as a catcher. He also said I have good, quick hands and that I'm a good athlete. He told me he was going to be following me."

    With his recruitment now out of the way, Austin can now focus on his high school team. He expects them to be good despite the loss of most of the pitching staff.

    "We lost all but two of our pitchers but on our sophomore class there is me, Keegan, and three more guys who throw in the mid to upper-80s," said Austin. "I think we are going to be pretty good."

    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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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