Rebels reel in Top 100 baseball recruit

Tim Ferguson (Inf, Beaumont, TX) - The Rebels rise to elite status in the baseball world can be traced back to two factors.

The first was the hiring of Mike Bainco, and the second was his ability to attract top notch talent.

That is evident by Ole Miss' Top 10 recruiting class last year, and Top 15 rankings in five of the last six recruiting classes, according to Baseball America.

Last week, it looks like they picked up another piece of the puzzle for their future when one of Texas' top recruits committed to the Rebels.

"I have not talked to Tim today, but I think Ole Miss recruited him harder and were more persistent than the other colleges, and he enjoyed his (official) visit there recently," commented Tim's head coach, Jacob Walton.

"Ole Miss also told Tim that he would have a chance to play early at 2B, SS, or LF. They just like him as a hitter. The boy can really hit the ball. He has led our team in hitting the past two years, and we produce a lot of D1 players. Rice was a big factor for Tim because his father played there, and he has two sisters that currently go to school there. It was a tough decision for Tim, but Ole Miss simply showed him more interest. Once they got their eyes on him, they were relentless."

It is that type of effort from the Ole Miss staff that has leap frogged the Rebels from a middle of the pack SEC program into one of the nations best.

"I really liked their staff, especially Coach Rob (Reinstetle). We just clicked from the start. Then when I went on my visit (in Mid-August), that just clinched it. It was between Rice and Ole Miss. I had a lot of family ties to Rice, but I do not think Ole Miss would have taken "no" for an answer (laughing). They really showed me a lot of interest, a lot (laughing). They have a great staff over there. But I think Ole Miss is just a great situation for me. I liked their campus, their field, their workout place. They just have great facilities and a great campus. The community there is really into their baseball too. Everywhere I went, people already knew who I was. I just fell in love with Ole Miss on my visit. And besides, Coach Rob pretty much babied me the whole time. I really look forward to getting over there."

Was there anybody in the mix for Ferguson's services?

"I had an official visit scheduled to Notre Dame for this weekend, but when I called and told them that I committed to Ole Miss, we canceled it."

The perfect games is a tournament where the top players in the country are invited to tryout, and if they make the cut, they play against the nation's elite in a round robin tournament. Tim has participated the last two summers.

"They ranked me the #55 player (in the country) for the non-pitching prospects. I had a pretty good showing. It was a great experience."

Ole Miss' All-American shortstop, Zach Cozart, could leave early in the draft following this season. Zach's decision could effect where Tim plays when he enters the program.

"They are not really sure yet. They said I could play SS or 2B. It all depends what happens with (Zach) Cozart or not."

Tim is currently playing 2B for Beaumont Westbrook HS.

"We have a guy who is going to Houston who plays SS for us right now," added Jacob Walton. "Tim has played some shortstop for us. They are both equally effective. We just do not want to fix something that is not broken."

Westbrook finished 29-1 last season.

Ferguson played for the S' East Texas Sundevils on a select team this past summer, but he also attending several more tournaments.

"We played in the East Cobb league. We went to Austin, Baton Rouge, and I played in a national showcase tournament in Arkansas. I went to the Area Codegams in Long Beach, and I got invited to the North/South game that is played in Texas' stadium in Arlington. I also played in the All-American game that was played the night before the AFLAC."

What makes Tim a good ball player?

"Tim is about 6' 2", 190. He has good size for starters, but he worked for it. That kid was only 160 his sophomore year. He has really hit the weights hard the past couple of years. Hitting wise, he has power. He is our 3 hole hitter. He plays solid defense and makes all the throws. The kid has good footwork. It could improve, and he knows that and is working on it, but it is good enough for the D1 level. Once he gets a full time strength coach to work with him everyday, like Ole Miss will provide him, he will take it to another level. Here, we just have one 45 minute session in PE to work on all of these things. In college, they have somebody there all day/everyday for you," added Jacob Walton.

Tim batted .456 last season and was named to the All-District 21 (5A) team and was also named Westbrook's Offensive Player of the Year for his own the field accomplishments.

3.8 GPA / 1460 SAT

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