Bret Marks - "I am a sidearmer that can touch 89 (miles per hour). I'm usually sitting in the 87 range. I have good downward movement and get a lot of ground balls. I also have a good changeup that I use against lefties. I also have been working on a slider with Jeff Innis, a sidearmer who pitched for the Mets five or six years."
When did Mississippi State start recruiting you?
"Butch Thompson saw me pitch my junior summer at East Cobb, which is a great baseball program that has helped a lot of guys get to the college level and beyond. He saw me over there, called me, talked a little bit, went back and forth. I then went to a camp the fall of my senior year. We talked afterwards and they seemed interested, and we went from there. I came back for an official visit a few weeks later and had a great time."
When did you commit to Mississippi State?
"It all started when I went there. I loved it. It just blew me away. I was interested in Mississippi State, UNC (North Carolina) and NC State (North Carolina State). UNC was beautiful but it was nothing compared to Starkville; I'm talking about fan-wise, as you can here (at this regional game). The campus (at MSU) is beautiful and the atmosphere is great. And Mississippi State has the Palmeiro Center and they have the largest on-campus crowd ever in NCAA history. That is what I want, a big old baseball crowd at a baseball school."
Have the MSU coaches talked to you about where they want you to pitch - relief or start?
"Coach Thompson said, since I'm a sidearmer, that I would be used in spot roles in the bullpen to start out. But, hopefully, I'll be able to go to a starting position, maybe mid-week or the weekend. You never know. I just want to do what I can."
Have the pro scouts talked to you about the draft?
"Yes, I've talked to the Padres and White Sox a little bit but that's about it. I still have to put a little bit more meat on the bones."
Considering current MSU freshman Evan Mitchell has put on 15 pounds since he got to State, putting meat on your bones should be something you can easily do once you get to State.
"I work out at Rockies, which has a bunch of pro guys at it. I was talking to a kid there who was telling me about Mississippi State's strength and conditioning program, how it is exactly what you need. The cafeteria at Mississippi State tailors food to what you need to do with your body. If you need to gain or lose weight, gain muscle, which is perfect for me."
What are your thoughts about playing pro ball or playing college ball if you do wind up getting drafted?
"In the unlikely chance I get drafted Mississippi State is looking good to me right now. It is going to be a fun time and a great atmosphere and a lot better than minor league ball and all that traveling."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.