Stryker A Rebel

Ole Miss has everything Stryker Trahan is looking for in a college and in a baseball program. So this week, the highly-touted catcher from Acadiana High School in Scott, La., committed to the Rebels.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder will sign in November as a member of the Class of 2012.

"I visited in February right before their season started," said Trahan, along with Rebel commitment and shortstop Gavin Cecchini of Barbe High School in Lake Charles, one of the top two players in Louisiana's junior class.

"Ole Miss, just driving toward the campus, just everything I saw, I knew it was the place to be as soon as I saw it. Everything about it was awesome. The town, the campus, everything is in walking distance."

That his future head coach, Mike Bianco, and assistant coach Carl Lafferty of the Rebels are both former catchers was also a plus.

"Almost all of his catchers the past 10 years have gotten drafted," Trahan said. "That was important. I liked that a lot, too. With two of my future coaches being catchers, that was big to me."

Some publications have both Trahan and Cecchini ranked among the top 25-30 overall national players in their class.

Perfect Game says this about Trahan: "Oustanding All Around C, very athletic, 6.67 60, 1.85 pop, serious bat speed and juice in bat, big power potential."

Louisiana-Lafayette and Ole Miss were his final two choices. LSU was in the mix but he didn't feel it was where he wanted to be. UL-L is about five minutes from his home.

"It's real nice people," he said of UL-L. "They'll support you all the time. That's how I felt about Ole Miss, real supportive people just like where I come from."

Trahan hasn't been to a game at Ole Miss and wants to make one this season.

"I want to witness a game, just to see the atmosphere," he said. "They showed me a highlight tape from some of the past years. Just watching the video got me all pumped up. Just watching the crowd go crazy and stuff was pretty cool."

Stryker Trahan
Trahan said evaluating his own game is difficult for him to do, but he's been told, "I swing it pretty well. I know I have more speed than the average catcher, I'll put it that way. It helps when you go up to the plate to know you can more than likely beat out a ball.

"I know I need to work more on my blocking and receiving as a catcher. I need to work on those type things right now."

This season as a junior at Acadiana, Trahan has six home runs. He isn't thrilled with that, however.

"Last season at this time I already had 10," Trahan said. "I haven't gotten much good pitching this year."

He's batting .460 so far this season.

This summer he has a full platter. He's heading to the Perfect Game National Showcase in Ft. Myers, Fla. He'll participate in the Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C. Then there's the Under Armour All-America Game, and either the East or West Coast Area Code Games.

The south and southwest Louisiana area have become fertile recruiting ground for Ole Miss. Several are members of a summer league team called the Southeast Texas Sun Devils. Current Rebel Tanner Mathis and former Rebel Tim Ferguson took that path. Current commitments Cameron Dishon (Ferguson's step brother), Sam Smith, Cecchini and Trahan have as well.

"I'm excited about it," Trahan said of playing college baseball with so many people he already knows.

So are some of the fans in that area, it seems. In a game Thursday between Acadiana and Barbe, they heard from one of Trahan's relatives in the stands.

"Gavin (the leadoff hitter for Barbe) stepped up to the plate. I was catching (for Acadiana)," Trahan said. "One of my uncles goes ‘Let's Go Rebels!' That was pretty cool. They're real supportive of us down here."

Even in LSU territory. But Trahan says it's really Louisiana-Lafayette territory, too.

"Some of them down here aren't too fond of LSU. They're more (Louisiana-Lafayette) fans," he said.

Trahan and his Acadiana High team defeated Cecchini's Barbe team Thursday 7-1. Trahan was 3 for 4 with three singles. Cecchini was 3 for 3 with two singles, a double, and a RBI.

Trahan, who turns 17 on April 25, said it's still a while before he gets to Ole Miss, and he wants to get better between now and then. And then learn even more.

"I want to be the best I can, and when I get there learn a lot from Coach Bianco and Coach Lafferty behind the plate," he said. "I want them to teach me. I want to get better and better."

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