LHP Tyler Whitney To Visit Memphis This Weekend

After considering baseball programs such as Mississippi State, LSU, Vanderbilt, Florida, Memphis, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Baylor and Southeast Missouri State, among others, Tyler Whitney, one of the top lefthanded pitchers in the nation, narrowed his list down to two - Mississippi State and Memphis. He officially visited MSU a few weeks ago and will officially visit Memphis this coming weekend. Tyler talked with Gene's Page about the two schools and where each figures in his recruitment.

Tyler Whitney Profile

Aren't you supposed to officially visit Memphis this weekend?
"Yes sir, that's correct."

What are your thoughts about the upcoming visit?
"I'm excited about it. It might be somewhat repetitious because I pretty much know everything about the program and the coaches. And I've lived in Memphis for 18 years, so I know what I need to know. But we are still going to take it to enjoy the recruiting process."

Are you going to make your decision immediately after the visit or are you going to wait a few days?
"After the visit on Sunday and after I've talked to my parents and we know for sure, I can see myself committing Sunday afternoon. That is as long as I'm 100% sure of where we want to go. If I'm not sure, I may wait a week or two."

It's been awhile since you took your official visit to Mississippi State. Are they still on your mind?
"Yes sir, definitely. I liked it a lot. I left with a great impression of Mississippi State after my visit. And I still have that same impression on my mind. They are definitely...I don't know if I would say they are at the top, but they are definitely still on my mind, though."

Are both coaching staffs calling you once a week?
"Yes sir, both of them are. And they are allowed to text message me as much as they want. (MSU assistant) Coach (Russ) McNickle and I text message each other about every day or so."

What will be your criteria for selecting a college?
"A lot of people think it will be the conference and the facilities. That really won't persuade me one way or the other. I think the biggest thing will be the people from the coaches to players to the students to the school. It will come down to where I will fit in the best. So, really, overall, it will be the people."

Will one school (Memphis) being 10 minutes away and the other (MSU) being 2 to 2 and a half hours away factor into your decision?
"Not at all. Both are still close. And being a pitcher, I'm probably not going to play more than one day a week if I'm a starting pitcher. So, my parents will have a heads up and have plenty of time to get down there to watch me pitch. I talked to my parents about both schools and they have given me a green light to do what I want."

I have a feeling each school has certain advantages over the other. What are the advantages of Memphis and what are the advantages of Mississippi State?
"(Memphis) is closer to home and I have a lot of friends that are (regular) students at the U of M. I know a lot of the players already, so I have several friends on the team. I like the coaching staff and know that the program is headed in the right direction. They haven't had much success in the past, but they are getting there. And the chance to play right away and be a Friday night or Saturday guy my freshman year is definitely an attractive thing.

"(State) has an awesome campus. I love the students there. They've had incredible success in their baseball program in the past. With the addition of the Palmeiro Center and already having an incredible stadium, that is definitely an attractive feature. And being away from home is not a must because I will be in a dorm wherever I go, but to be away and on my own I think will be fun."

This could be a really tough decision because you appear to feel really comfortable with both places?
"Yeah, I love both coaching staffs. I think I would enjoy playing for both of them. I'm definitely comfortable here (in Memphis) because I've lived here all my life. But, also, the people of Starkville are incredible. So, it will be a tough decision. But it will be one that I look forward to."

You mentioned the people will be the major factor in your decision. Comparing the two conferences, which do you feel is best?
"I definitely think the SEC is the stronger conference because you have your LSU's, Florida's and Tennessee's. But, also, in Conference USA, you have Rice and Tulane...and Central Florida coming in. And Memphis is building a great program as well, so I think they will be up there in the next couple of years. So, I think Conference USA will become more competitive."

Do your long range plans include the possibility of playing in the pros some day? If so, does one school have an advantage over the other?
"They do. And both schools provide a good opportunity to get there. So, I don't think one school has an advantage over the other."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

Gene's Page Top Stories