2015 RHP Parker Ford Talks MSU Commitment

Lufkin (TX) High School class of 2015 RHP Parker Ford, ranked 53rd on the class of 2015 Perfect Game national list, talks about his commitment to Mississippi State.

  • Name: Parker Ford
  • Classification: 2015
  • Position: Righthand Pitcher
  • Ht: Wt: 6-foot-3, 210
  • Bats-Throws: R/R
  • High School: Lufkin (TX) High School
  • Summer Travel Team: Texas Sun Devils
  • Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State

    He talked about what led to his committing to Mississippi State.

    "I went on an unofficial to Mississippi State last week," said Ford. "The day before that visit we went on a visit to the University of Mississippi. I liked it a lot but then we went to MSU and we knew pretty quick that may be the place."

    He explained the things he did while on his visit to MSU.

    "The first thing we did was meet in their Baseball Hall of Fame Room," said Ford. "We talked about how the university did things, then after that we watched a recruiting video. After that, we toured the campus.

    "I'm going to try and major in Mechanical Engineering. We toured the engineering buildings and talked to the academic advisor. That made my parents pretty comfortable because it would be hard to fail with all of the academic support that you receive there.

    "We then went to where we would live on campus, then to the cafeteria and then we drove in the golf cart back to the stadium and went to the workout room. The strength coach told us how they work with the pitchers.

    "Then, we went back into the coaches offices and I sat down with (pitching) Coach (Butch) Thompson and talked with him about pitching for about 30 minutes. After we were through talking he laid the offer on the table. I thought after that they are serious about me.

    "Then, we met with (head) Coach (John) Cohen and talked with him for about 10 minutes. I liked him a lot, he's real nice, real down to earth. He and Butch Thompson have good reputations. Coach Thompson is one of the best pitching coaches in the nation. And that was extremely appealing to me.

    "Everything around (the baseball program) made it feel like a brotherhood and I liked that a lot."

    Although he was really impressed with Mississippi State, he wasn't quite ready to commit while on the visit.

    "I liked MSU a lot but I liked a lot of other schools when I was there, then the liking kind of faded off," said Ford. "So, I visited Texas A&M yesterday and loved it but I still wanted to go to Mississippi State, for sure. And I felt that nothing else would change my mind because I had visited everywhere."

    With his mind made up, he decided to call the MSU coaches and seal the deal by committing.

    "I committed this morning," said Ford. "I called Coach Thompson first, then I called Coach Cohen, then I called Coach (Nick) Mingione.

    "I told Coach Thompson I had visited a lot of schools and seen a lot of nice things but felt Mississippi State was the best place for me and that I was verbally committing to Mississippi State. He said 'that is awesome and that I had made his day.' He said I was the kind of person he was looking for, not just for my baseball talent but also my character. that made me feel good.

    "Coach Cohen was extremely excited, too. He said he felt like I could help recruit for them due to where I am ranked (53rd on the Perfect Game class of 2015 list).

    While there were a lot of things that he liked about Mississippi State, one thing really won him over.

    "The thing about Mississippi State were the people and the fanbase," said Ford. "And the Left Field Lounge really got me going. I saw videos of it and said that's where I want to be. That's what makes playing fun, having a lot of people watching you play."

    Ford chose Mississippi State over a host of other top programs throughout the nation.

    "Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Florida State, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Duke, Oklahoma, the University of Houston, FAU, the University of Louisiana-Monroe as well as a few other small schools all offered me," said Ford. "I was going to visit LSU sometime this week and they were going to offer. Auburn was supposed to call me in the next few days and offer me. And I had a lot of contact with Rice and TCU. I also talked to Texas but they had run out of scholarship money."

    Although it's possible that he could wind up being a very high draft pick in next summer's Major League Baseball Draft, it will likely take a very special situation for him to go pro out of high school due to how education oriented he and his family are.

    "It would take a lot of money for me to go pro out of high school," said Ford. "My parents have pushed me really hard in school. And that has helped because part of my scholarship is due to my ACT score. I want to say my entire out-of-state tuition was waived due to my score. So, me making it to campus is extremely good. And me being with Coach Thompson three to four years is only going to make me better. So, I might as well wait and enjoy the college experience. Whether it works out or not, I will still have four years of college."

    Ford explained what MSU fans will see when he is on the Dudy Noble Field mound.

    "The first game we played in (during the recently completed high school season) I was hitting 93," said Ford. "Then, I threw a bullpen at LSU (after this season) and hit 94. The entire team got behind the game and started watching me. They told me after the fact that I was hitting 92-93 and 94 a few times. When I threw the first inning (in the 2014 17U WWBA championship series July) in (Atlanta) Georgia I was (throwing) 93, 94, 95. Then in the last inning I was 90, 91. I also have a little cut on my fastball, too. It goes downward and away from a righthanded batter (causing a lot of ground ball outs)."

    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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