"I committed to Mississippi State University today," said Padgett. "(MSU head) Coach (John) Cohen, (assistant) Coach (Butch) Thompson and (assistant) Coach (Nick) Mingione all emailed me at the perfect time. I don't know how they did it. But I had always had Mississippi State on my mind since I visited there. There is just no place greater than Mississippi State.
"I emailed Coach Ming and told him that I would call him sometime today. I called him and they were practicing. Coach MIng had a phone on him. And I told him that I was committing. He was ecstatic. It was exciting."
Padgett explained why Mississippi State won out over his other three finalists.
"I visited Mississippi State about a month ago," said the talented youngster. "They were playing Vanderbilt. It was a beautiful weekend. We were very highly impressed. When we got there we loved it, we loved it. It does not get much better than Mississippi State fans. That was what you want to pitch in front of. I was beyond impressed."
He also came away impressed with the Mississippi State coaches and players.
"The coaches were great," said Padgett. "I saw Coach MIng (Nick Mingione) and spoke with him, and also spoke with Coach Butch (Thompson) and Coach (John) Cohen. The coaching staff there are very personable. They told me that they wanted me and, for some reason, I wanted them. I wanted to be a part of that program because of the atmosphere there; the fans again. That was a huge part of it. And the players were great, too. When I stepped on the field when I was visiting the first thing they said to me was something like, 'you must be the guy everybody is talking about.' Every one of them introduced themselves to me and that was such an honor. You have to respect that. Of the other colleges that I went to, I spoke to some of the players but it was nothing compared to how it was at MSU. That was special for sure."
While the fans, coaches and players all impressed him, ultimately him committing to MSU was due to his belief that God led him to Mississippi State.
"The main reason I chose Mississippi State is because Mississippi is very Christian-based," said Padgett. "We are all on this earth for a reason, to glorify God. And I think going to Mississippi State will keep me on track to do that. Personally, I have always dreamed of playing for South Carolina and I had a chance of being a dual-sport player there, playing both baseball and football, but I knew I was being led to go to Mississippi State. I want to glorify God and I feel the best way to express it and show it is by going to Mississippi State."
South Carolina, Florida State and Florida offered Padgett and all received a visit from him.
"I visited South Carolina, Florida and Florida State," said Padgett. "Those were the main ones that I wanted to go to; I guess you could say that I have dreamt of going to. Those were the only ones that I wanted to go to, so that is why I visited them."
While Mississippi State won the recruiting battle for the extremely talented lefty, there is another battle looming, the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft. Padgett is projected to be a high draft pick, possibly in the top four rounds.
Scout.com National Baseball Analyst Kiley McDaniel explains why Padgett is so well thought of by college coaches and Major League Baseball scouts.
"(Padgett) is the best panhandle prep prospect since first-rounder Addison Russell from three years ago" wrote McDaniel. "(He throws his fastball) 88-92, (and is a) 6-foot-3 lefty with a big time curve. (He is a) top 3 round guy for the 2015 draft."
This past season, Padgett used that curveball to help him record 115 strikeouts in 51 innings.
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.