How did you wind up here at Mississippi State?
"It all started after we finished playing in the national championship game. Coach Thompson called me and wanted me to come on a visit to Mississippi State so that I could get to know the coaches. He said everything depended on how the (Major League Baseball) Draft went. Things had to align for me to come to State. It was awesome to see all the stars aligned perfectly for me. I received the call from Coach Thompson in late June. He said he had a scholarship for me. I told him it was probably one of the best things that I have heard in a long time. I have grown up a Mississippi State fan. I have grown up loving the Mississippi State baseball program. It was a true honor to be a part of it."
Did they tell you why they liked you as a baseball player?
"They said they like my hitting, the mental aspect of my game, the competitiveness that I bring to the game, the grit that I bring, my fielding ability. They like me at third. They like the tools that I brought. They like how I fit into the program, how I could come in and fit in with these guys and help this program."
Hitting-wise, what will MSU fans see from you?
"I pride myself on coming into tough RBI situations and getting it done, and, hopefully, hitting some doubles. I know that is what this program needs. I also pride myself on hitting for average and having a good on-base percentage. I pride myself on getting on base and helping the team anyway that I can."
Did any other college coaches recruit you or did they even know that you were available to be recruited?
"Mississippi State was the only school that contacted me after the world series. But this is where I have always dreamed of playing."
What have the workouts been like at Mississippi State?
"We get after in the workouts. But we enjoy it because it is a very encouraging atmosphere. Everybody wants to get better. It's a lot different than it was at Hinds. It's a lot more challenging. I love the competition aspect of it. We spread the team out into four different teams and we compete against each other and get points."
It sounds like it's a very competitive atmosphere.
"It's very competitive in the weight room and on the field. On the field we always have competitions with our fielding and with our drill work and hitting. Everything is a competition. Even off the tee you have to hit into the green."
You grew up a fan of Mississippi State and likely watched them play in the College World Series. There are a few guys on the team that played in that College World Series, guys such as Wes Rea. What was it like seeing him for the first time?
"Wes is a really great player. I have always enjoyed watching him. I enjoyed watching him and Hunter Renfroe. I remember watching Jeffrey Rea. I wondered what that would be like. I wondered about how they were such a family. Dak Prescott talked about that, being a family here. And I really believe that, especially in the baseball program. It's crazy to see how many people welcome us out of the locker room after the game. It's crazy."
Now you are here. You will be playing on Dudy Noble Field October 14th. Do you sometimes pinch yourself when you think that is about to happen to you?
"It really hasn't sunk in yet but I guess it will when October 14th is here. It is going to be a real eye-opener when the fans are out there and being out there playing. It is going to be a surreal feeling. I can't wait for it but I'm going to have to pinch myself."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.