MRA's Chad Crosswhite Commits to MSU

[Premium Article] Mississippi State has received a verbal commitment from Madison-Ridgeland Academy RHP/3B Chad Crosswhite (6-0, 190), one of the top baseball players in the state of Mississippi. Chad hit .377 with 7 home runs and 35 RBI and had a pitching record of 9-2 with a 1.06 ERA this past season.


It wasn't a tough decision for Chad to take the scholarship offer when it was extended by MSU coach Ron Polk this past Saturday.

"It probably took about 10 seconds," said Chad, who has been a fan of Mississippi State all his life. "Just to have them want me was one of my top goals. It is an honor. It is one of your dreams that come true."

Chad explained how he became a fan of MSU. "My parents (Allen and Jane Crosswhite) graduated from Mississippi State and I've been to games and other activities at Mississippi State since I was a little boy."

Although his Bulldog roots are strong, that didn't stop Ole Miss, MSU's in-state rival, from heavily recruiting Chad. In fact, Ole Miss not only sent him the most letters, they were also the first one to call Chad, calling him the first day that college coaches could start calling senior prospects.

"July 1st, Ole Miss called," said Chad. "State called on July 3rd or 5th."

There was a reason for such quick calls. Chad, already on the radar screen as a college prospect, has really came on strong this summer while playing for the Jackson 96'ers. Chad explained the improvement in his game.

"My control got better and my batting got better," said Chad. "I got stronger and started seeing the ball a lot better. Everything went well this summer. Charlie Russell, the 96'ers coach, and Bobby Matthews have done a tremendous job helping me."

The calls were just the start of what was a three-week whirlwind period that saw both Ole Miss and Mississippi State heavily recruit Chad.

"I went to State's camp and they said they were very interested in me," said Chad. "They told me they wanted me to come up for a visit.

"I play for the 96'ers and we had a game at Starkville (this past Saturday). Coach Raffo asked me if I would stay after the game and talk to Coach Polk."

However, Ole Miss, where Chad had camped the previous weekend, appeared to know something was going on because they made a call to Chad the day that he got to Starkville.

"The first day that I was in Starkville, which was Friday night, Ole Miss called and said they were going to offer me (a scholarship) but they wanted me to come in for an official visit," said Chad. "They knew that I was going to talk to (Coach Polk) Saturday. Basically, they wanted me to commit, but I told them that I had to see what my parents wanted to do. They said that was fine. They were very nice. Coach McDonald and Coach Bianco are real nice people. It basically boiled down to State was where I wanted to go and I got an offer and I took it."

With his commitment now out of the way, Chad, who will take his official visit to State on September 23rd and sign with MSU in the November signing period, looks forward to starting out as a dual-position player.

"(MSU's coaches) said they want me to do both (pitch and play third base)," said Chad.

And Chad, who is MSU's first commitment of the 2003-2004 recruiting season, wouldn't want it any other way. "I want to do both. I would like to be a closer," said Chad, who throws a fastball (86-87 mph), slider and a splitter.

Who knows, maybe the soon-to-be 18-year old will bring back memories of Pete Young, a former MSU Diamond Dog who didn't do too badly as a third baseman and closer back in the late 1980's.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at swindoll@genespage.com


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