Preston Overbey brings power to the plate
"I committed to Ole Miss in the Fall," added Preston Overbey. "I visited Ole Miss, MSU, Tennessee, and Louisville, but I just felt I was wanted a whole bunch at Ole Miss. The other schools gave me good offers too, but it was not as personal as Ole Miss. They have a family style atmosphere at Ole Miss and that won me over. I felt more comfortable around their coaches, and that is what put them over the top with me."
Overbey came in on an unofficial visit for the Ole Miss/Vandy game.
"That was actually my first recruiting trip I had taken to Ole Miss. I came over there a couple years back to see them play MSU, but I was in and out. I came on the trip and Jimel Judon was actually taking a visit to Ole Miss the same weekend. The fans were awesome, and they stand behind their team. Baseball is their number one team, and that was important to me. Their staff is also unbelievable, and their facilities are top of the line. The best out of any of the schools I saw."
The 6' 3", 210 pound three way player (RHP/SS/OF) was actually heading back home from his Mississippi State visit when he decided Ole Miss was the best fit for me.
"I was riding home with my father, and I told him that I liked it best at Ole Miss, so he told me to call Coaches Rob and Bianco to let them know. There was no reason to drag it out any longer. I took a visit to all of my finalist, and Ole Miss was the best fit for me."
Preston is no stranger to success as he earned a starting job for the varsity team as a 8th grader and played in the State Championship game. His freshman season saw him pitch in the State Championship game and his sophomore season they made it to State and finished 4th.
Power has always been a big attribute for Overbey as he is only 5 shy of the career home run record (33) at the University School of Jackson (TN).
"I hit 5 HR's my 8th grade year, 11 my 9th grade year, 6 last year, and so far I have 6 this year. I feel like I can hit for power and hit in the gaps for power."
The Rebels are recruiting Preston to play the corner infield slots (3B/1B) or the outfield and maybe a little pitching.
"They said there was a possibility I would pitch some, but they mainly want me to hit and play the positions."
Preston feels like he has the arm to handle any position.
"Fielding wise, I believe I have a strong enough arm to play anywhere on the field. I am also versatile enough to play in the infield or outfield. Pitching wise, I can locate my pitches and throw all of my pitches (4-seam fastball/two seam fastball, curve ball, and change-up) for strikes."
The Jackson (TN) native was one of three sophomores that was selected to play in the Sunbelt showcase tournament for the state of Tennessee. He also plays for the Dulin Dodgers, which has produced the likes of current Rebs Michael Park, Zach Miller, Blair Wright, and Phillip Irwin. Another 2009/2010 signee, David Renfroe, also played for the Dodgers last summer with Preston and former Ole Miss stars Zach Cozart, Mark Holliman, and Cody Overbeck all played for the Dodgers in high school.
"It is an 18 and under team, but I played with the graduating class last summer. I just felt like playing with the older guys made me become much more focused, mentally, and it gave me the opportunity to play with a ton of players who are now playing in the SEC. It just helped me out tremendously."
The carry over into this year is noticeable as he is their team's ace pitcher and carries a 7-2 record after going 8-2 as a sophomore.
"We started the playoffs last week, and I pitched in our first game and threw a complete game and hit a grand slam. We play Covington in the next mound. We are hoping to make it back to State, and hopefully we will win it all this time. We have been in the championship game twice (since I have been here), but came away empty both times."
Earlier this year Preston faced another Ole Miss commitment, Austin Hartzog.
"We played in the Jackson Hillcrest Christian tournament in March and beat Hillcrest, Prep, and Academy. It was a pretty good tournament for us. Austin and I pitched against one another in that game. We have been playing with and against each other since we were 8 years old, as we use to play on the same select traveling team when we were 8-14, so I have known him for a while."
That relationship proved beneficial for Ole Miss.
"Austin's dad called my dad when they took a visit to Ole Miss the month after I had committed. He wanted to know our opinion on everything because Ole Miss had always been one of his top schools. He committed to Ole Miss after his second visit there that month. It is going to be fun playing with him again, him and David Renfroe. We talk a lot too."
Overbey still has the rest of his junior and senior seasons to complete before he arrives at Ole Miss, but that has not stopped him from setting some first year goals after he arrives at the University of Mississippi.
"The first thing I want to do is to play as a freshman. You know when you go to Ole Miss that you are going to be competing against so many great players. They just have so much talent up there, so you have to be ready to compete for a starting spot. If I do that, I just want to help them get to the World Series."
Preston will be one of many prospects that will be on hand for the Ole Miss/MSU series this weekend.
"I am sure that after I see that atmosphere, I will not want to go back home (laugh). I am already ready to play in front of all of those fans. They have the best fans in America."
To view the complete list of baseball commitments for the '09/'10 class, click here.
To view Preston in action, click here.
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