Pontotoc's Jake Smithey To Walk On At MSU

Pontotoc High School's first baseman/third baseman Jake Smithey, who was an All-Division selection the last three years and Player of the Year in 1-4A in 2010, has been given the opportunity to walk on at Mississippi State this coming fall. And it appears he's going to take that opportunity.

"I went down there and talked to (MSU assistant) Coach (Butch) Thompson last week," said Jake, who signed with ICC to play both baseball and football. "Everything went real well and I liked what I saw and he offered me a chance to come down there and play. That as a thrill. I have always been a State fan."

As of now, it appears he is going to take the opportunity and see how it goes this fall.

"I told him more than likely that I would be coming down there," said Jake, who has a 32 on his ACT and a 4.78 GPA on a 4.00 scale. "I'm been getting all my paperwork finished so I can go there."

As far as his recruitment by State, it really heated up just recently.

"They really started recruiting me after everybody's baseball season was over," said Jake. "My high school coach called him and told him about me. And (Coach Thompson) started looking into it. When I got down there he said the reason they hadn't been recruiting me earlier was because I had already signed with ICC (for both football and baseball) and it was a respect issue."

But the State coaching staff decided, after hearing from several folks about Jake, to visit with him.

Jake talked about what the State coaching staff likes about him.

"Coach Thompson said he likes my size, my strength and my ability to hit and hit for power," noted Jake.

His summer American Legion coach agrees with that assessment.

"I have watched him play the last two years and he has gotten better and better every year that he has played," said American Legion Pontotoc Red Sox head coach Nickey Browning. "He has a lot of power and can hit the ball a long way. He is one of those kids that has the frame for it. He is a big kid who is 6-2 to 6-3 and 225 pounds. He runs really well for a big guy (4.8 in the forty and 6.8 in the sixty)."

As of now, he expects to play a corner infield position at Mississippi State.

"They expect me to play somewhere on the corner, first or third," said Jake. "Third base used to be my primary position, then I switched over to first base last year."

Wherever he plays, Coach Browning expects him to excel.

"I think Jake can be a player for them," said Browning. "I think he is that good because he has that much talent. He is also a really good kid who is very quiet and a hard worker. He still has things he has to work on and I'm sure when he gets to Mississippi State they will work hard with him on those. But whatever they ask him to do, he will do it."

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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