Committing Early

Ole Miss' baseball recruiting class for 2013 is already beginning to take shape. Add another to the list in Colby Bortles of Oviedo, Fla.

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A corner infielder, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound, 16-year-old visited Ole Miss and Oxford last Sunday and Monday, then committed.

"We flew up Sunday morning and went around campus with my parents. Then on Monday, we visited with Coach (Cliff) Godwin and Coach (Carl) Lafferty. I left Monday night, got back home, talked it over with my parents and knew it was where I wanted to be."

The coaching staff was a big key for Bortles selecting Ole Miss. He already knew Godwin when he was at Central Florida.

"Definitely the coaches. I love Coach Godwin and he's been recruiting me the whole time. My AAU coach, Coach Jerry Goodwin, had told me that (Godwin) is one of the best hitting coaches that he knows. I knew if I went there, that would be good for me."

Bortles, whose older brother, Blake, is a quarterback for Central Florida and had camped at Ole Miss for football prior to attending UCF, was also recruited by or had interest from Miami, LSU, Central Florida, and Florida Atlantic.

Bortles, who won't sign with the Rebels until next November, said Ole Miss is the best fit for him, and there is no reason to wait.

Colby Bortles

"It is early, and I do feel if I have a good season this spring, more teams will come along," he said of his commitment, which he also said is solid. "But Ole Miss is the best school out there for me, and I thought why not commit right now."

Bortles plays some first base but mostly third base. He said he checked the Rebels' roster a bit to see who is at those positions.

"But they are all still young and I'm just a (high school) junior. You can't tell who might be coming in and who might be drafted and all that. You just can't really tell and you have to base it on what you know."

His high school head coach has good things to say about Bortles, who describes himself as a power hitter, but not solely that.

"Obviously we are very excited as a school and program for the opportunity Colby has been given," Oviedo head coach Harold Hitt told Bright House Sports Network. "It's always great to see kids leave our program and get a chance to move on to the next level and excel at what they love to do. Ole Miss is a very good school and of course it will be a chance for Colby to play in the SEC. He is certainly a big part of what we do in our program and I can only hope that better things are to come for him."

Bortles, who played for Florida Travel Baseball's Team Mizuno this summer, said he's pleased to have his college decision behind him.

"I'm really excited I committed so I can focus on baseball," said Bortles, who will play in late December in the Power Showcase in Arizona. "I knew I wanted to be there (at Ole Miss), and there was no point in waiting."

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