Ready to roam

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Tennessee baseball coach Dave Serrano wasted no time tapping into the talent of nearby Farragut (Tenn.) High School to help get the Volunteers back to the College World Series one day.

Not only did Tennessee secure the signature on the National Letter of Intent from Farragut shortstop A.J. Simcox last November, it also has a verbal commitment from Cameron Strickland, also known as "Jammer."

Strickland roams the green grass at John Heatherly Field for an Admirals team that he's helped lead to two straight TSSAA Class AAA state championships. The Admirals won back-to-back titles before his arrival and have brought home eight overall to make theirs one of the top programs in the state, southeast and country.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder hit just shy of .300 his sophomore season with three home runs and 10 doubles.

"(Strickland) brings elite athleticism," Farragut coach Matt Buckner said. "When he's on the bases, he's a threat. In the outfield he's a really, really plus defender. He covers a massive amount of ground. He has a great arm. He can be a game-changer in center field. Offensively, he has the ability to really be huge. He hits a lot of extra base hits; he's going to be able to stretch a lot of stuff out. He's fast out of the box. He's just an explosive athlete and really has all the tools that you would want."

To play center field and hit at the top of the order on a high level of baseball, it certainly helps to have leadership and communication skills. Strickland will have his chance to start picking up those traits his final two seasons at Farragut with so few seniors on the 2012 roster.

"He has done that throughout the year, and I think he will be one of our leaders this year," Buckner added.

The right-hander plays his summer baseball for Diamond Baseball and The Simcox Academy.

Strickland gets it done in the classroom as well, sporting a 3.5 GPA and had already registered a qualifying ACT score of 22. He said he will likely major in "some type of business or sports management."

All high school baseball teams in Tennessee officially start practice on Monday. Farragut's first game is at Lenior City on Mar. 13.

To hear what Strickland had to say about the season ahead, the Farragut pipeline of talent to The Hill, his commitment to UT and much more, click on the video below:


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