Top LHP commits to Ole Miss

James Wiley (LHP, Atlanta, GA) - The Rebels parlayed their Top 10 finish last season with a Top 10 recruiting class, according to Baseball America. This was Ole Miss' third class that was ranked in Baseball America's Top 10 in the past five years.Now all eyes are focused on closing strong with the '05/'06 class.

Ole Miss was looking to sign two big time LHP for this upcoming class. They received their first LHP commitment back in the summer when Nathan Baker gave his verbal to the Rebels. Now they have "closed" the deal with one of Baseball America's Top 100 rising senior prospects in James Wiley.

James was named the Atlanta Journal Constitution's 2005 Player of the Year for his performances on the diamond.

Wiley's final list of contenders consisted of Ole Miss, Wake Forest, and Florida State before he casted his lot with the Rebels.

Player Profile

Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 200
Position: LHP
MPH: 90
Grades: 3.0 GPA / 1010 SAT

From: Atlanta, GA
High School: Lovett (Region 5AA)

The following information was revealed during our interview with James Wiley:

Which pitches are in your arsenal? "I throw a split finger change up, slider, fastball, and a curveball."

What is your out pitch? "Probably my slider."

What makes you such a good pitcher? "I do not ever give into a hitter. The coaches always tell me that I am a bulldog and a warrior. I never quit. I hit my spots, and I have good control over my pitches. I throw all of my pitches for strikes."

What are you working on for the next level? "I am always working on my conditioning. I have been lifting real heavy lately so I can get a lot stronger. Hopefully this will allow me to add some more velocity to my fastball when I get up to Ole Miss. I also constantly work on my mechanics. You want to have as smooth of a motion as you possibly can. All of these things are the areas I try to improve on each and every day."

How long have you been in the starting rotation for Lovett? "Since my sophomore year."

What was your record as a sophomore? "I went 4-4. I did not pitch as much because I was our #2 pitcher. I had a 1.80 ERA, and I think I had 37 K's in 38 innings."

And your junior campaign? "I went 11-1 with a 1.78 ERA. I had 125 K's in 82 innings."

Any awards? "I was named the AJC Player of the Year, 1st Team All-Atlanta, GA Dugout All-Tournament Team, and the Atlanta Braves elected me to the 400 Club. I was also named Lovett's Player of the Year, and I broke our school record for strikeouts in a season."

How did your team do last season? "We won our Region (5AA) and made it to the State Quarterfinals. We should have won that game but oh well. We had a good year. We had 9 juniors starting on our team. We should be even better this year."

Which AAU team do you play for? "The East Cobb Yankees."

Tell us which league you play in? "The Connie Mack league."

How did your team fare? "We did real well. Connie Mack is considered the top World Series. There are thousands of people at the games that are played in New Mexico. We won the World Series. We had a 45-7 record. East Cobb is always considered one of the top teams in the nation. We have had over 20 first round picks off of our team. We had tons of players last year sign with D1 programs. It is pretty much the cream of the crop from our team. I will be playing with them again next summer."

What was your personal record with East Cobb? "I think I was 5-0 for the summer."

Were you the only junior in your pitching rotation? "It kind of varied, but I was a starter. Every once in a while, one my age would have a start, but I was a continual starter."

You just got back in from your official visit to Ole Miss this past weekend? "Yes, coming into my visit I was looking at Ole Miss, Wake Forrest, and Florida State really hard. I have been talking to Ole Miss from the beginning. They were my top choice from the beginning, but this visit just made up my mind for good. I played at Ole Miss' baseball stadium in a tournament this summer, but I never got a chance to see how the every day life was. The atmosphere this past weekend was awesome. Their game day was great. I heard about the Grove and it was even better than what people told me about it. I have never seen anything like that. The girls was awesome (laugh). I do not know. It was just an unbelievable experience. I got to meet all of the coaches. They are great guys. The players on the team were guys who I felt like I fit in with, and I know they are great player so winning should not be a problem while I am there. The facilities were great. I really did not want to go back home. After that visit, I knew I was going to Ole Miss next year."

Who were some other colleges that you were considering before you narrowed it down to your finalist? "Virginia and Tulane have been on me a while. I was talking to South Carolina a lot too. Those five schools were the main ones."

What was the clincher for your decision to attend Ole Miss next year? "Really, I sat down with Coach Bianco. We talked about what he believes in and how he runs his program. He told me his background. The guys are good guys, and the coaches seemed like they really had a plan to get to Omaha. The visit was the clincher I guess."

Will you sign in the early signing period? "Yes sir."

To view Ole Miss' current public commitments, click here.

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