Juco Outfielder Visits MSU

Navarro (TX) Community College outfielder Jaron Shepherd talks about his official visit that he took to Mississippi State this past weekend.

To say he enjoyed his visit might be a bit of an understatement.

"It is a great state, a magnificent school," said Javon Shepherd, who plays for a school that had seven of its sophomores from last season sign with D-I schools, including the likes of Rice University (2), University of South Carolina, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, University of South Alabama, and Texas Sate (2). "There were wonderful people there. I loved it. I was pleased with everything that I saw."

Including the fan attendance, something Mississippi State is well-known for.

"I didn't know that Mississippi State's fan attendance was so good, that they had so many people attending their games," noted Jaron, who attended the Friday and Saturday Maroon-White World Series games during his visit. "It's like it's all about baseball there. And that's one thing I loved."

He also was very impressed with the coaches and players.

"(MSU) Coaches (Lane) Burroughs, (John) Cohen, (Butch) Thompson and (Nick) Mingione were all nice," said Jaron. "I loved them all. And Coach Cohen is a great coach who will do a lot for that baseball program.

"(Senior) Grant (Hogue) was my host and I had a real good time with him. I met quite a few of the other players. And they were all pretty nice people."

He came away just as impressed with the facilities.

"The stadium was very nice. The Palmeiro Center was also nice. And the new academic center was very nice. I was very impressed with everything."

Jaron expects to make his decision very soon.

"I should make a decision probably here soon, and most likely it will be to State," he said. "I haven't committed to them yet, but I'm 95% sure right now, and probably more than that, that I will go there.

"I could definitely see myself playing there because of all of the fans and because it's all about the baseball there, it is such a great baseball atmosphere there. I could just tell, even in the fall, that there is a lot of intensity on the baseball team because it is such a good baseball program."

The last time we talked, Jaron seemed to be destined to go pro after this year and not play another season of college baseball. Now that he's had a chance to visit State, his tune seems to have changed significantly.

"After this year, it would be a good accomplishment to sign and go pro if I get what I want, but if not, coming back and playing another year in the SEC for Mississippi State would make it just that much more interesting because if I put up good numbers I could go for even more due to the level of competition."

According to his head coach, Jaron, who was drafted in the 17th round of last summer's Major League Baseball draft, hit .360 last season with 12 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, 31 RBI and stole 15 bases.

Keep it right here to find out if State winds up receiving a commitment from this truly outstanding young outfielder.

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

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