Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State over offers from Clemson and Georgia Tech and strong interest from Florida State Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina
Selected a Perfect Game 2013 Preseason Underclassman 3rd-Team All-American, Gridley describes the type player that he is.
"As a player, I like to describe myself as a grinder," said Ryan. "I'm going to hustle every single play. I really think that's what they are looking for in college. They also want a team player, someone who helps create team chemistry, tries to be a leader on and off the field and tries to do everything to help the team win on the field."
While he obviously realizes being a team player and a leader are important, he's also a guy who is very good offensively.
"I'm a speed guy who likes to hit line drives and hit gap to gap," said Gridley, who runs a 6.6 second sixty-yard dash. "I try to hit it in the gap, hit doubles, steal bases, put pressure on the defense."
Gridley is working hard to improve his overall game as he prepares for his upcoming senior season of high school and beyond for when he gets to college.
"Speed is a big part of my game and something that I have been working on a lot but I have a lot of other things that I'm going to try to work on going into my senior year," said the youngster. "And I have a lot of things that I need to improve on before I get to Mississippi State but I think I have a good foundation. And obviously, playing with these 18-year-old players with the East Cobb Yankees is preparing me for the future."
A very versatile defensive player, Gridley is efficient at both middle infield spots.
"In high school I switch off and play both short and second base," he said. "It doesn't matter to me (which one I play). I believe I have the arm and range to play shortstop. It's really just what the team needs at the time."
A Mississippi State commitment, Gridley explains how he ended up committing to MSU.
"I always love that question, 'why Mississippi State?'," said Gridley. "It all started with Mississippi State when I received a letter from them. I was at a Perfect Game tournament and noticed that they were there. I ended up doing well (at the tournament). I gave the coach a call because it was an SEC program. I didn't know much about Mississippi State but I had heard great things about them so I felt they would be an option that I wanted to check out.
"I went on my first visit and the way they treated me was superior to any other school that I had been to and I had been to a lot of other schools.
"The way they handled themselves topped every other coach. The way they talked to me on the phone, they really looked into my background, they really looked into me as a person. That's a big deal to me because I want a coach to know about me coming in. I don't want there to be any secrets about me. And I also want them to know me as a person because that is important to me.
"I ended up going to a camp there on my second visit. And I got a tour with (MSU assistant) Coach (Nick) Mingione. They could tell I was interested. I ended up doing pretty well at the camp. After the camp I called them and told them how interested I was. And they wound up extending an offer. About a week later I took it."
While the coaches were very impressive, another aspect of the program impressed him as well.
"You can't say enough about the fans," said Gridley. "You go to a game over there and you will see something like 14,000 fans. And then hearing the roll call (by MSU fans) in Omaha, it is overwhelming.
"When I took my visit and looked at the school I said this is where I want to be and this is where I belong. When my parents and I made the decision I made the decision that Mississippi State was it. I could have waited but it just felt like the time was right. And I had trust in God and just felt like He wanted me to make that decision."
Mississippi State was just one of many major baseball programs that was interested in the talented player.
"I was also looking at a lot of (other) SEC and ACC schools," said Gridley. "I (unofficially) visited Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Georgia, Clemson, North Carolina and Florida State. All of them wanted to get to know me because they were interested in me. Some of them wound up extending an offer, Clemson and Georgia Tech."
Being from Georgia and turning down an offer from Georgia Tech and possibly an offer from Georgia if he had decided to wait on committing, Gridley sometimes hears things from fellow classmates about choosing Mississippi State over the two in-state schools. He has an easy answer for those comments now.
"I will go to school sometimes and people will say 'I know you are going to Mississippi State. Is that a junior college or a Division 3 school?," said Gridley. "I'll say, 'no, it's an SEC school and it's a really good program.' And now I can say did you see them on tv, see them play in Omaha for that national championship?"
Gridley is rated a 9.5 on a 10.0 scale by Perfect Game, a national high school scouting service. A 9.0 rating is a potential top 10 round pick and/or highest level college prospect while a 10.0 rating is considered a potential very high draft pick and/or Elite level college prospect.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.