2010 Class Member Commits To MSU

One of the top junior baseball players in the state of Alabama has made his intentions known. And those intentions are he wants to be a Mississippi State Bulldog.

"I committed to Mississippi State the weekend of the Vanderbilt (football) game," said Fairhope (AL) High School junior middle infielder Garrett Pitts. "I grew up a big-time fan of Mississippi State. I also would be able to come back home to Starkville where I lived for several years. And their offer was enough so that everything was a perfect fit.

And you could also say that it is a family tradition.

"I have an uncle that is a doctor for the team, Scott Jones," said Garrett. "And my granddad was the first All-American basketball player to play at Mississippi State, James Ashmore. He's in their Hall of Fame. And everyone of my cousins are at State."

While folks in Fairhope might not know about Garrett's family tradition of Bulldogs, they do know his leanings when it comes to colleges.

"I have the (MSU Bulldog) flag flying in the front yard," said Garrett with a slight laugh. "With the season (Alabama) had this year, I don't think they mind seeing it though."

As for the offer from State, Garrett talked about the entire process leading up to the offer and his acceptance of it.

"They offered Friday night and I told them I wanted to think about it, pray about it, over the night to make sure I was 100% sure about it," said Garrett who was with his mom and dad during the visit. "I called my family. I called my grand daddy, my dad's dad. And he was extremely pumped because he had always wanted me to play baseball at the college level. My other granddad, the one who played basketball at Mississippi State, was pumped to see the family going on to State."

Then, Saturday morning, he made his commitment to Mississippi State.

"I sat in (MSU assistant) Coach (Butch) Thompson's office before I talked to (MSU head) Coach (John) Cohen and was pretty much 100% sure about what I wanted to do," said Garrett, who also unofficially visited Auburn and South Alabama, two other schools that showed interest in him. "In my mind I felt like that was the direction that God was pointing me to. Then I talked to Coach Cohen and made it official. Coach Cohen and Coach Thompson were both excited."

Garrett commented on what the Mississippi State coaches liked about him.

"The coaches said that they like my work ethic, my effort in the classroom and how I was a good guy," said Garrett. "Coach Cohen also talked about it meaning something to you when you put on that uniform. Growing up a Mississippi State fan and this being my number one choice, he knew it meant so much to me and he really admired that."

But work ethic and wanting to be a Bulldog weren't the only reasons the coaches liked what they saw from Garrett.

"Coach Cohen also liked that I'm a versatile player," said Garrett, who batted .358 as a freshman starter, half at second base and half at shortstop, for Fairhope High School. "I can play in the middle infield, catch, play in the outfield and I switch-hit."

And his style of play on the field fits exactly what you would expect from a John Cohen recruit.

"I've also been called a throw-back player," said Garrett. "Coach (Greg) Legg, the coach for the Bama Bombers, the team I played summer ball for, told all the coaches that I am a throw-back player. I don't have a problem getting dirty for a ball hit in the six hole and I'm hardnose. I'm always trying to get any advantage I can on balls hit my way or when I'm on the base paths. I love to compete."

And Bulldog fans, starting in the year 2011, will see this hardnose, competitive youngster live and in person.

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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