(Information Source: MSU Media Relations)
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned second-team Crossroads Diamond Club all-state honors after hitting .447 for coach Patrick Robey's SPHS Tigers.
2008 ... Led his team with 38 RBI and seven home runs as a junior ... First-team all-district selection and tabbed South Panola's Offensive Player of the year ... Also picked up three wins as a pitcher ... Hit .419 and paced SPHS with 41 RBI and nine home runs and posted a 6-0 pitching mark as a sophomore in 2007 ... A first-team all-district and all-conference performer as a sophomore ... Three-year varsity letterman in baseball ... Also lettered in both football and basketball during his prep career ... Member of Mu Alpha Theta and the Junior Civitan Club ... Member of South Panola's traveling drama troupe Risque Business and served as a Peer Counselor at SPHS... Played summer league baseball for the Jackson 96ers and was coached by Derek Topik ... Home run derby winner at the 2008 Southeastern Championship Series held at historic Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala. ... Participated in the East Coast Pro Showcase in Lakeland, Fla.
PERSONAL: Born Ethan Scott Bright on January 4, 1991 in Oxford, Miss. ... Son of Joan and Kenneth Bright of Batesville, Miss. ... Younger brother of former Delta State quarterbacking standout Josh Bright.
COHEN ON BRIGHT: "Ethan is arguably the best power hitter coming out of the Mississippi high school ranks this year. He is a physical player who hits with power and swings from the left side. He can help us at first base or third base and maybe on the mound."
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starter and three-time all-district catcher for coach Stephen Cooksey at Brookhaven Academy ... Power-hitting receiver who batted .391 and drove in 44 runs as a junior in 2008 ... Lashed 15 doubles and 11 home runs, including four grand slams ... Earned second-team All-Mississippi Private School Association All-State honors and honored as the All-Lincoln County MVP and BA's Defensive Player of the Year ... Hit .323 as a sophomore and .316 his freshman year ... Also a four-year starter and second-team All-State performer in football ... Two-time all-district and Lincoln County defensive MVP in football ... Starred for two seasons in summer league baseball competition and hit .435 in 2008 for coach Derek Topik's Jackson 96ers .
PERSONAL: Born Kolby Cortez Byrd on March 23, 1990 in McComb, Miss. ... Son of Liz and Terry Byrd of Bogue Chitto, Miss.
COHEN ON BYRD: "Kolby has the combination of skills you like to see in a catcher. He's a left-handed hitting catcher, has power at the plate, and has very good arm strength behind the plate, maybe as good as I've seen coming out of high school."
HIGH SCHOOL: Two-year starter as a pitcher and infielder at Tupelo High School ... Coached by Gary Enis ... Earned all-state, all-district and all-north state honors after helping guide the Golden Wave to a 32-7 mark and state runner-up honors in 2008 ... Compiled a 10-1 record with a 1.95 earned run average with 98 strikeouts in 71-1/3 innings of pitching ... Also compiled a .367 batting average ... Honored as the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Player of the Year ... Notched a 6-0 pitching mark for Tupelo High School's 34-5 edition in 2007 ... Named a Rotary Scholar and the THS Most Outstanding Freshman for 2005-06 ... Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Key Club ... Played for the Tupelo 49ers in 2008 summer league competition, earning MVP honors at the state tournament ... Coached by former MSU baseball signee Kirk Presley.
PERSONAL: Born Christopher Lee Stratton on August 22, 1990 in Tupelo, Miss. ... Son of Janet and Lee Stratton.
COHEN ON STRATTON: "The thing that stands out about Chris is his advanced, effortless delivery. That will make his adjustment from high school to collegiate baseball seamless. And he has a limitless future as far as his velocity."
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year southpaw pitching standout at Hartselle HS ... Coached by William Booth ... Posted a 7-0 record with three saves and a 2.10 earned run average as a junior ... Registered 45 strikeouts in 40 innings ... Helped lead the HHS Tigers to a 39-12 mark and an advancement to the semifinals of the state playoffs ... Also hit .292 with 15 extra-base hits as a junior .... Named to the 2008 Alabama Baseball Coaches Association All-Star competition in Troy, Ala. ... Invited to the East Coast Pro Showcase in Lakeland, Fla. ... Registered five wins, two saves and a 3.25 ERA as a sophomore ... Recipient of the team's hitting award after batting a career-best .330 and belting a team-best six home runs in 2007 ...Earned all-area honors and received the team's pitching award as a freshman in 2006 after posting a 6-1 mark with two saves and a staff-best 2.07 ERA ... Played summer league baseball in 2008 for the East Cobb (Marietta, Ga.) Shamrocks, coached by Jamie Crane ... Played four years of football and two years of basketball at HHS ... Served four years an athletics representative and a member of Students Against Drunk Drivers (SADD).
PERSONAL: Born Luke Bradley Bole on March 28, 1991 in Florence, Ala. ... Son of Beth and Brad Bole of Hartselle, Ala.
COHEN ON BOLE: "Luke is a very athletic, highly-skilled left-handed pitcher and has the potential to have power stuff --- a power breaking ball and a power fastball. He'll probably face another decision after the professional draft in June, but we're thrilled that he is a Bulldog."
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starter as a right-handed pitcher and shortstop at Benjamin Russell HS ... Coached by Richy Brooks ... Completed his junior season with a 5-2 record, three saves and a 1.83 earned run average ... Struck out 42 in 54 innings ... Also hit .385 with a team-high 10 doubles and seven stolen bases ... Hit .373 with 20 RBI in 2007 ... Two-time participant in the Alabama High School Coaches Association All-Star Weekend, earning MVP honors in 2008 ... Played the last two summer seasons with the East Alabama "A's", coached by Scott Sullivan and Mark Fuller ... Varsity letterman in football in 2007 and 2008 ... Voted Most Athletic and Mr. BRHS as a senior in 2008-09 ... Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the National Honor Society ... Active participant in community service projects.
PERSONAL: Born Kendall Chase Graveman on December 21, 1990 in Tallapoosa County, Ala. ... Son of Sharon and Gary Graveman of Alexander City, Ala.
COHEN ON GRAVEMAN: "Kendall has just scratched the surface of what he can become as a pitcher. His potential is limitless. He's a physical kid with a great arm, and he's going to just get better and better. Like Luke Bole, Kendall was a very good high school football player and an outstanding student."
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Standout outfielder and pitcher in 2008 at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas ... Coached by Harvey McIntyre ... Hit .361 with a team-leading 15 doubles and 10 home runs ... Also notched a 6-5 pitching mark ... Earned first-team all-conference honors as a freshman.
HIGH SCHOOL: All-state dual-position performer for coach Mike Pirtle during his prep career at Tyler's Robert E. Lee High School ... Led the Red Raiders with a .407 batting average, 32 RBI, five home runs and 16 stolen bases in 16 attempts in 2007 ... Registered a 12-1 pitching record with a 0.98 ERA and 93 strikeouts as a senior .... District 12-5A MVP and All-East Texas Player of the Year ... Second-team Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-State selection as a pitcher and all-star pick as am outfielder ... Also a second-team all-state selection as an outfielder and third-team all-state pick as a pitcher by the Texas Sportswriters Association ... 2007 Tyler Morning Telegraph Player of the year ... Earned academic all-state honors ... Member of the National Honor Society, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the RELHS student senate ... Played six summer seasons with the Dallas Tigers, coached by Linty Ingram and Tommy Hernandez ... First-team all-tournament outfielder at the AABC Connie Mack World Series.
PERSONAL: Born Walter Lloyd Johnson III on March 16, 1989 in Tyler, Texas ... Son of Terri and Chip Johnson.
COHEN ON JOHNSON: "As an outfielder and a pitcher, Trey brings so many different skills. He's got power and speed, and he's an exceptionally bright kid with great baseball instincts. Trey has been coached well in high school and in junior college and is ready to step in and play."
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starting pitcher and middle infielder at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham ... Coached by Lee Hall ... Also a three-year letterman for the BCS Lions football team ... named to Briarwood Christian's A-B Honor Roll ... Notched a 5-3 record with two saves and an 0.86 earned run average en route to honorable mention Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State honors as a junior ... Struck out 96 in 65-1/3 innings ... At the plate registered a .421 batting average with a team-best 48 hits and 21 stolen bases ... Honorable mention Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger High School All-American ... Birmingham-News All-Metro team selection ... Also tabbed 2008 Shelby County Reporter Player of the Year and Birmingham-News Pitcher of the Year for Shelby County ... Named to the AHSAA North/South All-Star and the Alabama East/West All-Star teams ... As a sophomore in 2007 hit .370 with 29 stolen bases and a 6-3 pitching mark with a staff-leading 1.61 ERA ... Will enter his senior campaign in 2009 with a school-record 1.56 career earned run average and 180 strikeouts.
PERSONAL: Born Benjamin Albert Bracewell on September 19, 1990 in Birmingham, Ala. ... Son of Christine and Al Bracewell of Chelsea, Ala.
COHEN ON BRACEWELL: "Ben is another dual-position guy as a shortstop and a right-handed pitcher. He's an athletic pitcher with a very good arm and a feel for a very good curve ball."
JUNIOR COLLEGE: An All-MACJC selection as a freshman catcher and corner infielder at Meridian (Miss.) Community College in 2008 ... Coached by Chris Rose ... Hit .370 with 17 extra-base hits, including six home runs ... Serves as team captain for 2008-09 ... Caught all 55 games and threw out 85 percent of the opponents attempting stolen bases ... Among six MCC players to six with NCAA Division I programs ... Phi Theta Kappa honor society member at MCC.
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starter as a catcher and first baseman at Hahnville HS in Boutte, La. ... Hit .417 and drove in 47 runs with 23 extra-base hits and eight stolen bases in nine attempts as a senior ... An honorable mention Class 5A all-state selection by the Louisiana Sportswriters Association ... Also earned all-district, all-parish and coaches all-state honors ... Hit .380 with 38 RBI as a junior in 2006, earning all-state, all-district and all-parish accolades ... Member of the Beta Club and the National Honor Society ... Played summer league baseball for coach Chris Wescott with Bill Hood Baseball in 2007 and 2008.
PERSONAL: Born Wesley Joseph. Thigpen on June 20, 1989 in Kenner, La. ... Son of Sarah and Billy Thigpen of Luling, La.
COHEN ON THIGPEN: "Wesley has a chance to be a dominant defensive catcher. His ability to receive and throw the baseball and his leadership skills make him a very important part of this recruiting class."
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year starter as a pitcher and outfielder at Cleburne (Ala.) County HS ... Coached by Vaughn Lee ... Accorded first-team Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State honors as a junior ... Southpaw who compiled a 7-1 record with a 1.98 earned run average in 2008 ... Registered 97 strikeouts and walked 16 in 43 innings ... Also hit .365 with 24 RBI, 19 extra-base hits and 12 stolen bases in 13 attempts ... All-conference selection, team MVP and Anniston Star's Area Player of the Year ... Earned North squad MVP honors at the 2008 North/South All-Star Game played in Huntsville, Ala. ... Also earned all-conference, all-state and team MVP honors as a sophomore... Hit .419 with 13 stolen bases and compiled an 8-3 pitching mark with three saves, 108 strikeouts and a 2.20 ERA in 2007 ... During his four-year prep career at has compiled a 21-5 record with seven saves and 306 strikeouts ... Four-year member and past team captain of the Tigers' football team ... Honor student at Cleburne County HS ... Played summer league baseball in 2008 for the Excel Blue Wave, where he was coached by Josh Beshears and former MSU infielder Steve Gendron.
PERSONAL: Born Charles Clellon Watson on September 18, 1990 in Anniston, Ala.. ... Son of Lisa and Robert Watson of Heflin, Ala.
COHEN ON WATSON: "C.C. has got a chance to be a two-way guy for us. He's got an explosive type of arm and a second pitch that will enable him to compete on the mound at a high level in our league."
HIGH SCHOOL: A three-year standout at Marietta's Pope High School ... Coached by Jeff Rowland ... Compiled a 5-2 record with a 2.50 earned run average pitching for the PHS Greyhounds ... Registered 56 strikeouts in 45 innings of mound duty ... All-region selection as a junior in 2008 ... Recipient of the team's Cy Young Award ... Played summer league baseball with the 16U AAU Junior Olympic champion East Cobb Astros, coached by Guerry Baldwin, and for the 17U BCS National Champion East Cobb Braves, coached by Kevin Baldwin.
PERSONAL: Born Matthew Russell Lane on August 11, 1990 in Jackson, Miss. ... Son of Ginny and Jim Lane of Marietta, Ga.
COHEN ON LANE: "Matt has potential written all over him. He possesses a very projectable 6-5 frame, an upper 80's fastball and true spin on his breaking ball. His development over the coming seasons will be exciting to watch."
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Earned all-conference honors as a freshman at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas ... Coached by Whoa Dill ... Compiled a .353 batting average with 12 doubles and four home runs in 2008 ... Ranked as the No. 2 junior college baseball player in Texas ... A 17th round draft pick (504th overall selection) of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008.
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-sport standout at Kilgore High School ... Two-time offensive MVP playing for coaches Jeff Blackstone and Tim Harkrider ... Compiled a .500 batting average with a .985 on-base percentage in district competition ... Hit .524 in district play as a junior ... Earned first-team All-East Texas pick and All-Region honors as an outfielder ... Three-year standout for the Kilgore HS football Bulldogs, twice earning first-team all-district and All-East Texas honors ... Honored as the defensive newcomer of the year on Kilgore's 2004 state championship team.
PERSONAL: Born Jaron Jordan Shepherd on October 30, 1988 in Indianapolis, Ind. Son of Janda and Ronald Shepherd ... Father was a second-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays and played for the Blue Jays from 1984 to 1986.
COHEN ON SHEPHERD: "Jaron is a multi-talented player who plays hard and attacks the game. He comes from a highly-successful junior college program and should make an immediate impact at Dudy Noble Field and the SEC."
2008 SEASON: Initially signed with Meridian (Miss.) Community College before transferring mid-year to Florida State University ... Hit .400 with three RBI in 13 games played with the Seminoles ... Will play his sophomore season in 2009 for coach Bobby Sprowl at Shelton State in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starting shortstop at Tuscaloosa's Hillcrest High School ... Helped lead coach Todd Agee's HHS Patriots to a 44-20 record and the Class 6A state title in 2007 ... Hit .407 with 20 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, a state-record 85 runs and 19 stolen bases en route to all-state honors as a senior ... Named team defensive MVP in both 2006 and 2007 ... Participated in the East Coast Showcase in Wilmington, N.C. ... Also played one year of varsity basketball ... Four-year high school honor roll ... Member of the Beta Club at Hillcrest High School.
PERSONAL: Born Nickolaus James Vickerson on July 8, 1989 in Limestone, Maine ... Son of Rebecca Hicks and Richard Vickerson.
COHEN ON VICKERSON: "Nick is an extremely confident player who has a passion for the game. He is a tremendous defender with the drive and desire to compete at the highest level."
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Transferred to Howard College in Big Spring, Texas, following a rookie season at the University of Texas in 2008 ... Saw limited playing time in seven games with one at-bat and four runs scored as a Longhorn ... Projected starter in the outfield as a freshman playing for Coach Britt Smith's Howard College Hawks in 2009.
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letter-winner as an outfielder at Georgetown (Texas) High School ... Coached by Danny Wallace ... Served as team captain and piled up 52 hits, drove in 31 runs and pilfered 25 bases in helping lead the Georgetown Eagles to the 2007 Class 5A Region II finals ... Earned third-team all-state, first-team all-district and all-county honors as a senior in 2007 ... Also a first-team all-district selection as a junior on GHS' 2006 bi-district championship team ... An 11th-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft ... Played summer league baseball for the SLAM club baseball team in Austin ... Coached by Tommy Boggs ... Accorded Premier All-Star and Team Texas honors while playing for Austin SLAM ... Three-year letter-winner and two-time all-district selection in football as a running back in high school ... Also a member of GHS's 2006 regional qualifying 400-meter and 800-meter relay teams in track ... Participated in Georgetown High School's PALS program.
PERSONAL: Born Burundi Runey Davis on January 1, 1989 in Austin, Texas ... Son of Mona Shields of Temple, Texas.
COHEN: "Runey was an impressive multi-sport athlete in an outstanding high school program in Texas. He possesses the speed and the quickness to cover a lot of ground in the outfield and can put pressure on opposing defenses."
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Starting left-handed pitcher as a freshman at Hutchinson (Kans.) Community College in 2008 ... Coached by Kyle Crookes ... Compiled a 5-3 record with a 3.54 earned run average pitching for the HCC Blue Dragons ... Drew 11 starts in 12 appearances with three complete games and 65 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched.
HIGH SCHOOL: Starred on the mound and in the outfield at Marquette HS in Chesterfield, Mo. ... Coached by John Meyer ... Compiled an 8-2 record with a 2.05 earned run average as a senior in helping lead the Mustangs to the district and sectional championships and a season-ending No. 10 state ranking ... Named to the 2007 Missouri High School Baseball Coaches All-State second team in the 4A classification after garnering honorable mention all-state honors in 2006... Also a second-team All-Metro St. Louis selection ... Registered 60 strikeouts in 54-2/3 inning while holding opposing hits to a .188 batting average ... Compiled 13 wins, a 1.74 ERA and 129 strikeouts over his two varsity seasons with the MHS Mustangs ... Earned first-team honors as a pitcher and second-team honors as an outfielder on the Suburban West All-Conference teams in both 2006 and 2007.
PERSONAL: Born May 4, 1989 in Lancaster, Calif. ... Son of Jackie and Peter Statz of St. Louis, Mo.
COHEN ON STATZ: "Tim is a fearless competitor. He can pitch to both sides of the plate with his fastball and has tremendous confidence in all of his pitches. He's an immediate impact player who also brings great leadership qualities to Mississippi State."
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letter-winner and three-year starter at Hartselle High School ... Coached by William Booth ... With the 2009 season continuing, has compiled a 12-1 record with two saves and an 0.50 earned run average ... Has allowed four earned runs with 101 strikeouts and seven walks over 70.2 innings ... Honorable mention 2009 ATP Pre-Season All-State selection ... Prep teammate of MSU fall 2008 signee Luke Bole ... Posted an 8-5 record with two saves, 115 strikeouts and a 1.90 earned run average as a junior in 2008 ... Has compiled a 25-11-6 career record with six saves and 298 career strikeouts over four seasons at HHS ... A member of the A-B Honor Roll at Hartselle High School ... Played summer league baseball for the Elite Blue Wave, coached by former Bulldogs Matthew Maniscalco and Steve Gendron ... Notched 6-1 record with a 1.51 ERA during 2008 competition.
PERSONAL: Born Chad Alan Girodo on February 6, 1991 in Decatur, Ala. ... Son of Joyce Turrentine and Danny Girodo.
COHEN ON GIRODO: "It is extremely rare to find a high school pitcher with more than 100 strikeouts and just seven walks. Chad is a strike-throwing machine, and with 10 pickoffs already this year he possesses the ability to control the running game."
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Starting shortstop at Blinn College, where he is coached by Harvey McIntrye ... Through 42 games played sports a .248 batting average with 26 RBI, 11 doubles and six home runs ... Has had a hand in 23 of Blinn's 33 double plays ... Successful on seven of eight stolen base attempts ... Teammate of 2008 fall MSU baseball signee Trey Johnson ... Posted a .215 batting average and cracked two home runs as a freshman in 2008.
HIGH SCHOOL: Two-year starting infielder at Cy-Fair High School ... Hit .351 as a senior, helping lead coach John Pope's Bobcat baseball team to a 32-win season and a state championship ... Collected 36 hits, including 19 doubles, two triples and 11 home runs ... Stole 16 bases in 19 attempts ... Earned all-tournament team honors as a shortstop at the 2007 state championship tournament ... Played summer league baseball for the Houston Sting, coached by Charlie Hayes.
PERSONAL: Born Jonathan Thomas Ogden on July 15, 1988 in Houston, Texas ... Son of Steve and Joanne Ogden of Houston, Texas.
COHEN ON OGDEN: "Jonathan is one of the top defensive shortstops in the country. He's an outstanding competitor who brings great athletic ability and leadership skills to our team."
HIGH SCHOOL: Miller is a 6-4, 215-pound right-handed pitcher/first baseman who helped lead coach Larry Knight's Sumrall (MS) High School Bobcats to a 36-0 mark and a second straight 3A state championship. A two-time all-area and all-district selection, Miller was honored as the Mississippi 3A Player of the Year. Sumrall finished its 2009 season with a No. 8 national ranking by Baseball America.
The right-hander compiled a 24-0 record his last three seasons at SHS, including an 11-0 mark with a 1.66 earned run average in 2009. He paced the Bobcats' pitching staff in 2009 with 106 strikeouts over 67-1/3 innings. Miller was voted team MVP and selected as a Crossroad Diamond Club All-Star. He also posted a .414 batting average and established a school single-season record with 14 home runs.
Miller compiled a 7-0 record with a 3.06 ERA as a junior, helping guide Sumrall High School to a 32-6 record and the 2008 3A state championship, and fashioned a 6-0 pitching mark in 2007.
PERSONAL: He is a special honors graduate of SHS, where he was a four-year member of the Beta Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Miller is the son of Cindy and Micah Miller of Sumrall, Miss.
BUTCH THOMPSON ON JARED: "Jared has established himself as a winner both on and off the field," said MSU pitching coach Butch Thompson. "He has been trained well at Sumrall High School by one of high school baseball's top pitching coaches, Larry Knight, and brings the potential to be a power arm on our staff. After finishing his career unbeaten, it's easy to see that Jared has a winning mentality."
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Collins, a 6-6, 200-pound right-hander, pitched the past two seasons at Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kans. He compiled a 9-3 record with a 2.59 earned run average in helping lead coach Galen McSpadden's Saints to the finals of the NJCAA Region VI playoffs. He registered 58 strikeouts in 75-2/3 innings and tossed a staff-high six complete-games en route to honorable mention All-Jayhawk West Conference honors. He made three post-season mound appearances (two starts), earning two wins and allowing but three runs over 20 innings.
HIGH SCHOOL: He finished with a 1-3 record, a save and a 4.79 earned run average as a freshman at SCCC in 2008. The Bulldog signee was a two-year, two sport standout at Chatfield High School in Littleton, Colo., where he was coached by Mike Yansak. He earned second-team all-conference honors in both baseball and basketball and was honored as Chatfield's Athlete of the Year in both 2006 and 2007. An honorable mention all-state selection as a senior in 2007, Collins registered 43 strikeouts and a 2.55 earned run average in 40 innings of mound duty with the CHS Chargers.
PERSONAL: The four-time honor roll student at Chatfield High School is the son of Lois and Pat Collins of Littleton, Colo.
BUTCH THOMPSON ON COREY: "Corey is a 6-6 right-hander whose pitches have great sink and run, which will give our pitching staff a different look," said MSU pitching coach Butch Thompson. "He had six complete games pitching in one of the nation's top offensive junior college leagues, and that should put him in a position to have an immediate impact at Mississippi State."
HIGH SCHOOL: Played his high school ball at Hoover High School in Hoover, Alabama.
HIGH SCOOL - Played his high school ball at Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola in San Juan, Puerto Rico ... Considered an outstanding defensive catcher with a very strong arm (1.8 to 1.9 pop time to second base).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.