Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Juco RHP Colin Holderman Talks MSU Commitment

Heartland (IL) Community College righthander Colin Holderman, one of the hardest throwers in the junior college ranks, talks about his commitment to Mississippi State.

  • Name: Colin Holderman
  • Classification: Sophomore
  • Position: Right-hand Pitcher
  • Ht: Wt: 6-foot-6, 220
  • Bats-Throws: R-R
  • Junior College: Heartland (IL) Community College
  • Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State

The Mississippi State coaching staff jumped into the recruiting battle for Holderman immediately after seeing him pitch in a junior college showcase this fall.

"They stared recruiting me this fall after seeing me at a junior college showcase where we played games," said Holderman. "I transferred from Southern Illinois so this is my first season playing junior college.

"They talked to my coach here at Heartland Community College, Nate Metzger. He let me know that they were going to be in touch. And (Mississippi State assistant) Coach (Nick) MIngione called me and that started the process. We started talking and I went there for a visit. I visited them when their football team played Louisiana Tech."

He already knew quite a bit about Mississippi State prior to visiting them.

"I knew that they were a baseball powerhouse and about their outfield, the Left Field Lounge," said Holderman. "I knew that they were a dynasty. They were definitely at the top of my list of schools that I wanted to play for. When I heard that they were interested that made me pretty happy."

His official visit solidified his thoughts about Mississippi State baseball.

"The first thing that struck me about them is how passionate and competitive their players were during their gray and maroon world series," said Holderman. "I could see myself being a part of that because I am very passionate about the game. I felt like I could fit right in.

"And their facilities were top-notch. Dudy Noble Field is top-notch. The Palmeiro Center struck me as being top of the line. The academic center and the weight room are top-notch as well. And they have set attendance records. I am the type person who loves performing in front of those big crowds. We never got those big crowds at Southern Illinois but when we opened up at TCU they had 5 or 6 thousand people in the stands. I can't wait to compete in front of those type crowds."

The coaches also impressed them.

"All the coaches seem to really care about their players," said Holderman. "They put their players in the best position to win. And on a personal level they really seemed like genuinely nice guys. I want a good relationship with my coaches. And I felt a good connection right away with all of them."

Although he liked everything that he saw on the visit, he wanted to take some time before making his decision.

"I came home and talked to my family about i and I talked to the guy who helped me through the recruiting process when I was in high school," said Holderman. "Then, on Wednesday morning I committed."

Mississippi State was just one of several high profile baseball schools that was recruiting him.

"I also visited Indiana and NC State (North Carolina State)," said Holderman. "I was also planning on visited the University of North Carolina and Tennessee and Ole Miss had interest in me. That was pretty much it. I had offers from Indiana and NC State. They offered on the visits there. North Carolina told me that they were going to offer if I can in for a visit. Some other schools were going to offer after the draft in the spring. Tennessee said they were going to come in and offer after the draft. And I think Ole Miss was, too."

Holderman explained the likely reason he had so many top colleges recruiting him.

"I am probably consistently 93-94 (miles per hour with my fastball) and on Scout Day I was up to 97," said Holderman. "That is my four-seam fastball. My two-seam velocity is probably anywhere from 92 to 94. I also throw a slider, changeup and curveball."

Obviously, anyone that throws as Holderman does would not only draw the attention of college coaches but also Major League Baseball scouts. And Holderman is no exception to that.

"I have talked to quite a few pro scouts (about the draft)," said Holderman. "They don't really give an indication where I will be drafted. And don't want any indication yet. I want to work without knowing where my stock is. I want to prepare as if I am a low draft pick. I want to work to be a top draft pick."

While he would love to be a high draft choice next summer, education is also very important to him. He explained why.

"Both of my parents are educators, so education is really important to my family," said Holderman. "Education is a key because you can't play baseball forever. You need education to fall back on.

"It will take a really high dollar amount for me to not further my education at least one more year."

Another fact that enhances Mississippi State's chances in keeping him for at least one year is the number of first-rounders that they have had.

"Mississippi State has had 12 first-rounders and they will probably have another one after this spring (Dakota Hudson)," said Holderman. "I love to hear that."

He even believes his pitching style is similar to Hudson's.

"I definitely would compare myself to Dakota Hudson because we have similar pitching styles and similar body type," said Holderman. "That is a good comparison to me."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network.

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