"I came over there (to Ole Miss) for the Auburn football weekend (in 2006) and immediately fell in love with the place," said Travis, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound "hitter" signed to add more pop to the Rebel lineup. "I was blown away by the place."
Giving Travis a weekend tour of "the place" was a familiar host. His former juco teammate at Northeast Texas, Scott Bittle, along with Bittle's roommate, Fuller Smith, showed him around.
"I loved it," he said. And in November he signed.
Travis grew up in Huntsville, Texas, and so when that town's college team – the Sam Houston State Bearkats – played in Oxford for the NCAA Regional early this month, Travis made the trip to Mississippi again.
"My mom is a professor there (at SHSU), but we actually live in The Woodlands (a Houston suburb) now," Travis said. "It was a lot of fun being up there for the Regional."
But seeing what postseason play in Oxford is like didn't surprise Travis, who said he's watched the previous two years' Super Regionals on ESPN when the Rebels hosted Texas and Miami.
"It looked like such a great place to play," he said. "I knew if I had the chance, it would be a place I'd want to play."
He got that chance after Ole Miss assistant coach Rob Reinstetle saw him in the fall. There was a tournament his team played in Shreveport, La., and he played in the Texas Junior College All-Star Game in Waco. The first-year Ole Miss assistant was at both and liked what he saw in Travis.
"I like to be the first guy out of the dugout and onto the field every inning," said Travis, who is an outfielder but could also play first base. "I feel like I am a hard worker who gives 110 percent. I want to be an exciting player that everybody likes to watch. I just want to give it all I've got every day."
Travis proved that over the course of his high school and junior college years so that several schools sought his services. Nearby Texas A&M came calling as did Louisville, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Lamar, Arkansas-Little Rock, in addition to Ole Miss and others. He brings a reputation as a hitter to the Rebels.
Last season Travis hit .315 with six home runs and 12 doubles as well as 41 RBI. The previous season he hit .349 with 30 RBI and five home runs, along with 12 doubles, three triples and 12 stolen bases.
"I feel like I can hit whatever is needed, home runs, singles, doubles in the gap," said Travis, who in one game this season went 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and six RBI. "I can use all fields and can hit for power. I know they were looking for somebody who can hit, and hopefully I can be that guy."
Travis said he's already working toward getting better before he arrives at Ole Miss.
"I know I need to work on all parts of my game," said Travis, an academic all-conference selection who had a 3.91 GPA last semester and plans to be in the business school at Ole Miss. "I need to continue to build up my body. They (Ole Miss coaches) have sent me a program for the summer, and I am already seeing some results."
Both Travis and his coaches are hoping some good "results" will come during his time as an Ole Miss Rebel the next couple of seasons.
"I'm really looking forward to getting up there and playing at Ole Miss," he said.
Jeremy Travis looks forward to helping Rebs
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