MSU Baseball Commitment Aaron Weatherford

Aaron Weatherford (6-0, 177, Fairhope High School in Fairhope, AL), one of the nation's top prep baseball players, talked with Gene's Page about his commitment to Mississippi State.

Aaron Weatherford Profile:

What schools made your final list?
"Mississippi State, LSU and Alabama. Those three were the ones that made offers early. LSU made an offer a month ahead of time in June through my coaches. Alabama also offered early. But I wanted to be patient even though they were trying to get me to commit early. I wanted to get it all laid on the table beforehand."

What other schools showed serious interest in you?
"Ole Miss, Birmingham-Southern, Auburn, Troy State, Jacksonville State, Tennessee, Georgia and some others. All of those schools called (July 1st or after)."

Talk about your unofficial visits to LSU, Alabama and Mississippi State.
"I visited LSU during their regional tournament at LSU and one other time. I watched three different ballgames at Mississippi State. I saw the Tennessee game. I also came up for their Junior Day when they played Florida. I believe I also saw them play Georgia."

How did your unofficial visit to Alabama go?
"I actually didn't get up there to visit. Coach Butler, their pitching coach, came down to watch me pitch, but the game got rained out. He still got to watch me throw in the bullpen. He called me a week later and had me an offer. It was a really good one, too. Alabama had the best offer. It was really hard to turn down."

When I talked to your dad he said you were close to committing to LSU during the regional that you attended.
"I was close, but I let them know that I wasn't ready to commit then. I know they wanted me to go ahead and do it before July 1st before everybody else could have a shot, but I really didn't want to do that and let them know."

Going by what you have said, you now had offers from LSU and Alabama at that time in the recruiting process. Did you also have an offer from Mississippi State at that time?
"Not yet. They didn't offer until July. They actually offered when I (unofficially) visited them. They called me July 2nd, but I got something in the mail early July 1st saying that they were thinking about me. It was FedExed to me at 12:01 a.m. I thought that was pretty neat. I was impressed that they would take the time to do it in that way. They really wanted to contact me at my convenience and let me know beforehand. They went about it like gentlemen."

Your dad said when you took your unofficial visit to Mississippi State you loved it. What was it about MSU?
"It was more the coaching staff than anything. I sat down and talked to them and thought, 'man, these are the kind of guys that I want to play for.' I can play for Coach Polk. I can tell he is real. When he said something, I knew it was good as gold. That really stood out."

What was it about Coach Polk?
"I can't explain it other than to say you can sense what is in his heart and where he is coming from."

Based on what you said, the State coaches didn't appear to put any pressure on you to make your decision.
"Not at all. They didn't put any kind of pressure on me. The main thing is they wanted me to go where I wanted to go. They laid it all out for me and kind of backed off and let me make the decision on my own."

Who was your primary recruiting coach for Mississippi State?
"Coach McNickle really called me a lot. He was the main guy."

What are your impressions of him?
"He is a great guy. We kind of hit it off right from the start. It was kind of like I have known him all my life. I also knew his brother, who is a youth minister down here in Alabama."

Were there other things you liked about Mississippi State other than their coaching staff?
"I was impressed with their stadium. What more can you ask for in a stadium? You can also really tell that people love their baseball there. People were showing up and showing 100% support. And just being able to play for Coach Polk, who is kind of like the Bear Bryant of college baseball."

Once State made their offer, when did you let them know that you were committing to them?
"They told me to take my time. They told me that I could commit now (on the visit) or take as much time as I wanted. They said their offer is good. My parents and I went home and prayed about it and discussed it. I believe about two weeks went by where we were really making sure it was the right thing. But, when it came down it, that was where I really felt I needed to be. I felt like that was where the Lord wanted me to be and we went with it."

How did it happen? Did you go to bed one night and wake up the next morning ready to commit to Mississippi State or did it happen some other way?
"It kind of gradually grew on me. I loved it when I first went up there. It felt right and it slowly had grown on me that it was the place for me."

Did any of the coaches from your main three tell you where you were listed on their recruiting board?
"Yes sir, they did. It was pretty much number 1 with all three as far as I can tell. I know so at Mississippi State and I'm almost positive with LSU. I would also guess that with Alabama, but he didn't tell me that for sure."

You have a great fastball that you consistently throw in the 88 to 91 miles per hour range and tops out in the 92 to 93 range. Do great arms run in your family?
"My dad could throw really hard. He had a great arm, but he hurt his elbow when he was throwing curveballs in little league ball. My grandfather was also an athlete. He had a scholarship to play basketball for Mississippi State, but the war came about so he could never fulfill it. I also have some second cousins that have great arms."

Now that you have made the decision as to which college you are going to sign with, considering your talent level, your next decision will very likely be whether to go pro or go to college. Talk about that.
"My education is very important to me, but I guess it will all come down to where I go (in the draft). No one knows how that will all work out. It's just something that we will have to wait and see what happens. We really don't know what to expect, yet."

How much interest did the pro scouts show in you last year?
"They showed some interest, but it's really been more this summer. The area guys have shown a lot of interest. They wanted me to go up to the pro Showcase in Wilmington."

You did really well at that Showcase, didn't you?
"Yes sir, I pitched 3 innings and struck out 6 and allowed 1 hit."

Your dad also said you gave up 1 walk and was very disappointed about that.
"I was, I was (laugh). I only walked 5 people last year (in 63 innings)."

What pitches do you throw?
"I throw three pitches, a 12-6 curveball that has a lot of movement on it, a split-finger that is 80 to 82 and breaks down and in, and my fastball."

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me, Aaron.
"Yes sir, thank you."

Click here to add Aaron Weatherford to your Watchlist.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

Gene's Page Top Stories