Wheeler HS Junior Has Interest in Three

Wheeler High School outfielder/right-handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff, one of the top junior baseball players in the state of Mississippi, is receiving interest from three schools.

"I've been talking to Mississippi State quite a lot lately and they seem to be pretty interested in me," said Brandon. "They really want me to come down. I have a visit set up on October 24th for the Florida game. I talked to Ole Miss once or twice. I talked to (assistant) Coach (Carl) Lafferty at Ole Miss a couple of times. I'm probably going to set up a visit to Ole Miss. Samford left their phone number."

The schools started recruiting Brandon after seeing him play in a tournament this past summer.

"They all found out about me at the State Games in Mississippi," said the 6-4, 215-pound youngster. "I went something like 7-for-9 in the tournament with four or five doubles."

That hitting ability is just one of three things that impresses the coaches about Brandon.

"The coaches say they like the way I swing the bat and they like my arm," said Brandon, who led his team in home runs with nine last season. "They say I have a strong arm from the outfield. Right now, they are looking at me as an outfielder and, maybe, come in the later innings as a relief pitcher."

Considering his arm strength, you can understand why the coaches see him as a closer type.

"(Pitching-wise) I've been clocked at 90 (miles per hour)," said the 16-year-old. "And I stay consistently at 86-87. I also throw a curveball, a slider and a circle change."

While pitching is something that the coaches like, his real love in baseball is hitting and playing the outfield.

"I feel like my main strengths are my hitting; I love hitting and I also love playing the outfield," said Brandon, who hits left and throws right. "Those are two things I love doing."

He explained what he likes about each of the three schools that are currently recruiting him.

Mississippi State - "Mississippi State is where all my family went and my brother is a senior there. I just love that school. I've grown up being a Mississippi State fan. I love the atmosphere down at State and there are a lot of great fans there."

Ole Miss - "Ole Miss definitely has a beautiful campus. And they are very rich in baseball tradition. It would be a good place to go to play baseball."

Samford - "(Former Tupelo High School player) Gardner Richey is a real good friend of mine and he plays at Samford. He said it's a real nice campus. But I don't really know much about them."

Although he has grown up a fan of Mississippi State, Brandon is not closing the door on any other school that shows interest in him.

"I'm keeping all of my options open," said Brandon.

Look for additional updates on Brandon Woodruff throughout his recruitment.

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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