The Jr Olympics, which gathers the top high school prospects in the country, made their cut down to 24 players.
Justin Reed is on the 24 man roster.
Mississippi has not produced a Jr Olympics Finalist during the Bianco era, but the Rebels have signed two other finalist during Bianco's tenure, as Mark Holliman and Alex Presley were both finalist. Neither made the Final 21 man roster, but both made the 24 man roster, which is called the "Finalist" roster.
As a side note, Ole Miss commitments Matt Holliman (SS) and Jamie Johnson (OF) were both invited to the tryouts and so was Ole Miss signee Cullan Kight (3B).
Justin will arrive in Atlanta for the final cut on August 28th. They are going to cut the roster down from 24 to 21 players and begin their journey in Mexico on September 11th.
Reed is much more than a franchise player for Ole Miss' baseball squad, as he has a close knit of friends who are coveted by Ole Miss' football program.
Justin Reed's family and Derrick Odom's (LB) family are very close, and Justin is also good friends with the #3 ranked prospect in Mississippi in Anthony Dixon (RB).
Anthony Dixon's cousin just so happens to be the starting quarterback for Hillcrest Christian, and Justin will be playing wide receiver and defensive back for Hillcrest Christian this season.
This domino effect could be huge for both Ole Miss' football and baseball programs.
Height: 5' 11"
60 Yard: 6.48
Grades: 3.1 GPA / Has not taken the ACT
From: Jackson, MS
High School: HillCrest Christian
The following information was revealed during our interview with Justin Reed:
What are your strengths on the field? "First of all, my speed is a big advantage for my game. I can lay a bunt down, and at the same time, I can hit to the opposite field."
What do you need to work on? "I love it when a pitcher challenges me with a 92 MPH fastball. I can really hit the fastball, but what I need to work on most is making sure I stay back on the off speed stuff. Then I can hit it the opposite way."
What has been your batting average during your high school career? "I hit .303 my freshman year. I hit .545 my sophomore year, and I hit .508 my junior year at Callaway."
You decided to transfer to HillCrest Christian? "Yes sir."
What are you being recruited to play on the next level? "Centerfield. I have played catcher my whole career at Jackson Callaway, but they are moving me to centerfield at HillCrest. That is what I am going to play on the collegiate level too."
Which AAU program do you play for? "The Mississippi Stars."
What did you bat this summer? "I do not know, but I batted .550 during the Jr Olympic trials, which was 3rd best out of the 140 players who were invited."
Did you make the cut? "Yes sir, I made the Jr Olympics 24 man team. They cut it down from 140 players to 32 then they cut it down to 24. I am a Finalist. We start on August 27th in Atlanta. They are going to cut 3 more people and then we head to Mexico on September 11th."
Where do you stand in your recruitment process? "I committed to Ole Miss over the weekend."
Why did you choose Ole Miss? "Several things. First of all, this was the biggest decision of my life. I looked at like this, Mississippi has a dominate baseball program at Ole Miss, so why would I have to leave the state? I look at this as the best opportunity for me to get to the World Series. I enjoyed the whole recruiting process. It was flattering having all of these schools court me. But when it came down to it, I had to go with the staff that I felt the most comfortable around. And plus, I know I have a good chance to play early at Ole Miss, and I wanted to take advantage of that opportunity."
Which colleges offered you a scholarship? "Of course, Ole Miss, and I had Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, some school out of Florida, and Georgia. Hawaii also wanted me to come, but it was way too far from home (laugh)."
Who came in second place? "It would have to be MSU. I forgot about them."
Have you informed the other staffs of your decision? "Well, not all of them, but the ones that have called. They can call us once per week right now, and I am telling them as they call. I just made this decision on Friday, so I have not had a chance to talk to all of them yet. I should have that taken care of by the end of the week."
I hear you are good friends with Jackson Callaway's Derek Odom (LB)? "Yes sir, we are real/real close friends and so are our families. Our families are real tight."
Have you spoken to Derek about your decision? "Oh yea, he knows (laugh). I am working on him real hard."
What is your current academic status? "I have a 3.1 core GPA, and I take my ACT test for the first time in September."
To view Ole Miss' commitment list, click here.