Wheeler HS Senior Commits To MSU

Wheeler (MS) High School outfielder/right-handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff, one of the top class of 2011 baseball players in the state of Mississippi as well as the southeast, has committed to Mississippi State.

"I just committed to Mississippi State," said Woodruff. "I am very excited. I can't explain how excited I am. I am really looking forward to going down there.

"I talked to (assistant) Coach (Lane) Burroughs last night and told him that I was going to commit to them. Then, he told me that he would call (head) Coach (John) Cohen and tell him. And I called Coach Cohen today. He was excited. I was pretty excited myself when I called him and I don't even remember much about what he said."

He chose Mississippi State over offers from Ole Miss and Southern Miss.

"I went to Ole Miss yesterday on a visit," said Woodruff. "And after I got through there and evaluated everything, I just knew State was the right place for me.

"I visited Southern (Miss), too. Those were the only three schools that I visited because I was really wanting to state in-state, so I wasn't really looking to go anywhere else."

He explained what it was about Mississippi State that caused him to commit to them.

"I've had all kind of family go to State, and I really love the coaches there; they are great," he said. "I also think that Mississippi State is on the rise. They are getting really good recruits coming in."

Coach Cohen told Brandon what they have in store for him when he arrives on the Mississippi State campus in the fall of 2011.

"He told me he wants me to hit and pitch for them," said the 6-4, 215-pounder. "They probably will play me at a corner position, left or right. And I will come in in late innings in relief. That's what they are looking for me to do."

Pitching-wise, he prefers closing games over starting.

"I really like coming in and closing a game out or coming in in relief and getting a couple of innings in," said Woodruff, who consistently throws his fastball in the 92-94 range and his slider in the 79-81 range. "If I start a game I will try to throw as hard as I can and I won't be able to last the entire game. But if I get to come in in the late innings like I did at Oklahoma (for Team Mississippi in the Junior Sunbelt Classic held in June, 2010 ) that's when I can just let it go."

Brandon Woodruff is Mississippi State's third commitment of the class of 2011. The other two are Trevor Fitts, a 6-2, 190-pound RHP from Pelham (AL) High School, and Jacob Lindgren, a 6-0, 180 LHP/OF who plays for St. Stanislaus High School in Bay St. Louis, MS.

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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