C Taylor Hightower talks about his future

The Rebels felt the presence when their ace recruiter, Dan McDonnell, took the head coaching job at Louisville. After back to back "down" years on the recruiting front for Coach Bianco's standards, Ole Miss rebounded with one of their best classes yet under his regime.

Coach Rob Reinstetle took over the recruiting coordinator duties for Coach McDonnell, and he put together one of the nation's best classes this year.

One of the center pieces of his class, C Taylor Hightower, is playing for the Georgia State Championship (AAA) on Friday.

"We are ranked #46 in the country by Baseball America, and we are playing against Stephens County on Friday," stated Taylor Hightower. "We are playing against my buddy, Ethan Martin. We have been playing together in the summer leagues for a long/long time. Ethan is probably going to be a 1st round pick but he signed with Clemson."

The 6' 1", 205 pound catcher out of Cartersville hit .525 with 5 HR's and 34 RBI's as a junior. How does he stack up, stat wise, this season?

"I am hitting .420 with 9 HR's and 38 RBI's. My power numbers have gone up, and I am driving in more runs. I shortened my swing and it has really helped me out. I am hitting much better in key situations this season."

Baseball America ranked Taylor as one of the top catchers in the country, and one of the main reasons is his arm.

"I get it from home to second in 1.8 to 1.85 seconds. So far this season, I have thrown out 17 of 22 base stealers and I have picked off 10 players on base."

The draft is just right around the corner (June 5th) and a few major league organizations are already speaking to Taylor.

"I have had talks with the Reds, Royals, Mets, Yankees, Braves, and White Sox."

What round are they predicting Hightower to go in?

"I really have no clue. I have not kept up with that stuff. I have not seen any projections. I told them what I wanted, and I will go from there."

What does Taylor want?

"I would rather keep that between me and the organizations, but it is a combination of money and a chance to advance my career and keep moving up. It has to be an all around fit, just like Ole Miss was for me."

Hightower has been keeping close tabs with the Rebels.

"I talk to them almost every day (laugh). They really have not stopped recruiting me. They want over there pretty badly. They were inconsistent at first, but they are getting hot at the right time. They had a lot of key injuries, but they are slowly getting some guys back. It is all about getting hot at the right time, and I think right now they are getting hot."

What is in Taylor's heart, Ole Miss or the league?

"Honestly, my heart is to just play baseball. It is a win/win situation for me. I can start my career a little early or play in the SEC. Either way, I am playing competitive ball. But Ole Miss is a great situation for me. I will have a chance to go right in there and compete for a job. I know I will have to earn it, but I would not want it any other way. Like I said, it is a win/win situation for me."

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