Juco Outfielder Commits To MSU

Navarro (TX) Community College outfielder Jaron Shepherd committed to Mississippi State Sunday night.

"I committed to Mississippi State tonight about an hour or so ago," said Jaron Shepherd. "I called (MSU assistant) Coach (Lane) Burroughs and told him and (MSU head) Coach (John) Cohen. They were excited."

Although he committed Sunday, he actually came close to committing during his official visit to State last weekend.

"I had actually thought about it on the visit because it was a really great place to be," said Jaron, who hit .343 last season with 12 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, 31 RBI and 15 stolen base. "After the visit I thought about it a little bit and knew that was where I wanted to be. And I was kind of leaning that way because Mississippi State was willing to take a risk knowing that I might have a chance to go pro (after this coming season). I finally committed today."

Jaron had several other schools that were showing interest.

"There were a lot of other schools that wanted to offer, but none of them have what Mississippi State has to offer," said Jaron, a 17th round selection during the June, 2008 Major League Baseball draft. "(Texas) A&M, OU, UT, Ole Miss, (Louisiana) Lafayette ... those were just some of them off the top of my head."

When he made his final decision, he called to tell his parents before calling the Mississippi State coaching staff.

"My parents were the first ones I told," he said. "They were kind of with me the whole time. And they were both excited about it. My dad was really excited after Coach Cohen called."

Although he plans on signing during the early signing period, which begins this Wednesday, he's still working out the actual day.

"I'm going to sign whenever I can," said the youngster. "My parents and I are going to try to have some kind of signing day thing."

He is Mississippi State's 14th commitment...

  • South Panola (MS) High School first baseman Ethan Bright
  • Tupelo (MS) High School righthanded pitcher Chris Stratton
  • Briarwood Christian (AL) infielder/righthanded pitcher Ben Bracewell
  • Benjamin Russell (AL) High School righthanded pitcher Kendall Graveman
  • Cleburne County (AL) High School lefthanded pitcher C.C. Watson
  • Neshoba Central (MS) HIgh School outfielder/righthanded pitcher Donnie Tabb
  • Hartselle (AL) High School lefthanded pitcher Luke Bole
  • Blinn (TX) College outfielder Trey Johnson
  • Hoover (AL) High School middle infielder Sam Frost
  • Brookhaven (MS) Academy catcher Kolby Byrd
  • Meridian (MS) Community College catcher Wes Thigpen
  • Hutchinson (KS) Community College lefthanded pitcher Tim Statz
  • Pope (Marietta, GA) High School lefthanded pitcher Matt Lane

    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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