MSU Baseball Signee Drew Hollinghead Interview

Drew Hollinghead is a 6-3, 205-pound right-handed pitcher from Greene County High School. Drew earned second-team all-state pick as a junior after posting a 7-2 record with an 0.91 ERA. During the season, he also struck out 73 in 61-2/3 innings. Drew explained to Gene's Page why he decided to cast his lot with Mississippi State.

Drew Hollinghead Profile:

Which schools called you?
"Southeast Missouri State. They were the first one to call me. They saw me at Mississippi State's camp. Mississippi State called me. Meridian called me."

What schools did you visit?
"I officially visited Southeast Missouri. I also (unofficially) visited (Mississippi) State."

Who was the coach at Mississippi State that recruited you?
"Coach McNickle. When I was about to leave their (summer baseball) camp, Coach McNickle gave me his card and phone number and said that he would be following me throughout the season."

What did Coach McNickle say that he liked about you?
"When I was at their camp, I think they liked my changeup pretty good. They like more of my off-the-field person than my athletic ability because they haven't seen me throw a whole lot. Coach Polk said they liked my size for sure and that it looks like I still may grow some more. I don't think my velocity is there right now, but it will get there pretty soon. I probably average about 85 to 87 (miles per hour), depending on whether it is a good or bad day. Probably, the hardest that I have ever thrown is 87 to 88, maybe."

How did it come about that you committed to State?
"I knew they weren't going to be able to give me much (scholarship) because (Coach McNickle) had told me it was kind of slim with their (scholarship) money. So, I had to decide how badly I wanted to go to State. I had kind of made up my mind if they offered anything then that would be the deciding factor. Coach Polk made the offer when I came up there. He didn't pressure me or anything like that. He told me it was entirely up to me when I wanted to make my decision. Of course, it's kind of hard to say no to him (laugh)."

Have you grown up a fan of Mississippi State?
"No sir, not really. I have never been to a baseball game there. I never dreamed that I would be good enough to play Division-I, so I never really considered it. I knew their reputation and Coach Polk's reputation. And I know they have some of the best facilities around (the south)."

What pitches do you throw other than your fastball?
"I throw a curveball that is about as hard as a slider. I would probably say I throw it 78. I just recently developed a changeup. When I was younger, I was more of a two-pitch guy. This past year, especially over the summer, I have gotten to where I am going to be able to use my changeup a lot more."

Have you noticed your fastball velocity increasing from year to year?
"Oh yeah. Early last year I was probably throwing 83."

Quote from Coach Polk (Source: MSU Media Relations):

"Drew hails from a great high school program at Greene County High School and has been a truly outstanding pitcher playing for coach Scott Bray," said Polk. "We are so pleased to have a Greene County young man decide to attend Mississippi State as a baseball student-athlete. Drew is also expected to finish first in his graduating class, and is certain to be a tremendous asset to our university both on and off the field." (Drew is a 4.0 student with a 25 ACT and is the son of Andy and Juanita Hollinghead of Leakesville, Miss.-Gene)

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

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