2007-2008 MSU Baseball Signees

2007-2008 Mississippi State University baseball signees.

2007-2008 MISSISSIPPI STATE BASEBALL SIGNEES AND INVITED WALK-ONS

Eupora RHP/OF Devin Jones

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University has signed pitcher/outfielder Devin Jones of Eupora, Miss., to a baseball scholarship.

Jones is a 6-3, 170-pound right-handed pitcher at Eupora High School, where he is coached by Lee Berryhill. A four-year starter, Jones earned all-district honors as a junior in 2006 after compiling an 8-2 record with a 3.10 earned run average and 82 strikeouts in 50 innings of pitching. The left-handed hitting Jones also hit at a .358 clip for the EHS Eagles.

"This young man is considered by many to be one of the mid-south's best pitchers and was highly-recruited by several NCAA Division I schools," said Polk. "His academic credentials are outstanding, and his pitching skills lead us to believe he has a chance to be a step-in pitcher as a true freshman next year. He has also been a solid position player for coach Berryhill at Eupora High School."

He earned second-team Class 2A all-state honors as a sophomore in 2005, hitting .481 and posting a 5-2 record with a 2.50 earned run average. A past teammate at Eupora High School of current MSU pitcher Lee Swindle, Jones played summer league baseball in 2007 with the Cincy Flames in Ohio, where he was coached by Jay Basil and Mo Sanford.

"Playing baseball at Mississippi State has always been a dream of mine," said Jones. "While growing up only 15 minutes down the road, I have attended many MSU sporting events such as baseball and football. Now I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the MSU family."

The MSU signee is a merit student at Eupora High School, where he is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and an officer with the Beta Club. He is the son of Teresa Blakely of Eupora, Miss.

Bayou Academy RHP/INF Caleb Reed

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University has signed pitcher/infielder Caleb Reed of Cleveland, Miss., to a baseball scholarship.

Reed is a 5-10, 200-pound right-handed hitting and throwing multi-sport standout at Bayou Academy, where he has been a standout performer in baseball, football, basketball and track. He was named to both the Mississippi Private School Association All-State team and the second-team Jackson Clarion-Ledger All-State unit in 2007 after helping lead coach Rodney Martin's Bayou Academy Colts to a 24-6 record and the MPSA Class A state baseball championship. He hit a team-best .577 with 41 hits, 46 RBI and eight home runs in 30 games, earning conference MVP and county player of the year honors. On the mound Reed compiled a 13-1 record with a save and a 0.98 earned run average, striking out 182 in 85 innings pitched.

"What a tremendous athletic career Caleb has enjoyed at Bayou Academy in baseball, football, basketball and track. At Mississippi State he will be able to concentrate all of his attention on baseball," said Polk. "We predict this young man will be a tremendous asset to our baseball team very soon in his career as a Bulldog student-athlete. With his senior season of baseball still to come, Caleb has already put up impressive numbers both on the mound and at the plate."

He earned all-county, all-conference and team MVP honors as a freshman and sophomore, hitting .534 with 39 hits and 37 RBI and notching an 8-3 record with 136 strikeouts in 2006 after hitting .431 and posting a 7-2 pitching record in 2005.

In 74 games played over the past three seasons Reed has compiled a .514 career batting average with 18 home runs and a 28-6 pitching record with two saves and 393 strikeouts in 206 innings of mound duty.

Reed played summer league baseball in 2006 and 2007 for the Jackson 96ers, coached by Derek Topik.

"Signing with Mississippi State University is a great honor and a very happy time in my life and for my family," said Reed. "For me to sign a scholarship to play baseball at one of the greatest baseball programs in the country is a dream come true for me. I owe every bit of this to the Lord because without Him I would not be where I am today."

The signee is a member of Mu Alpha Theta and the Community Service Club at Bayou Academy. He is the son of Bob and Teresa Reed of Cleveland, Miss., the brother of Mississippi College senior outfielder Will Reed and the nephew of former MSU pole vaulter Tommy Shook.

St. John's College HS LHP Nick Routt

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University has signed left-handed pitcher Nick Routt of Silver Spring, Md., to a baseball scholarship.

Routt is a 6-4, 200-pound southpaw at St. John's College High School in Washington, D.C. He lettered the past two seasons playing for coach Mark Gibbs on SJHS Cadet teams that posted a two-year 47-11 mark.

"This young man attracted a lot of interest after enjoying a banner summer while pitching for the Mid-Atlantic Rookies," said Polk. "Nick is an outstanding student that we project as a major contributor to our pitching staff early in his career at Mississippi State."

Routt compiled a 4-1 record with a staff-best 1.25 earned run average last summer with the Rookies pitching for coach Mike Chroniger. He registered a team-high 56 strikeouts with 14 walks and six earned runs allowed in 43 innings pitched. He so impressed scouts during summer competition that he was named to the 2008 Under Armour Pre-season All-America team.

"I am very excited about signing with Mississippi State and would like to help MSU win a national title," he said. "They have a great program with outstanding coaches and facilities. I can't wait to get started."

The MSU baseball signee is a member of the National Honor Society. He is the son of John and Kathy Routt of Silver Spring, Md.

McKeel Academy INF Frankie Rawdow

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University has signed middle infielder Frankie Rawdow of Lakeland, Fla., to a baseball scholarship.

Rawdow is a 5-11, 165-pound shortstop/second baseman at McKeel Academy in Lakeland, where he is coached by Mike Long and has earned varsity letters in baseball each year since the eighth grade. He hit .384 and pilfered 26 bases in 28 attempts as a junior in 2007, earning third-team Class 3A Florida All-State and first-team All-Polk County honors as a shortstop. He has been named a 2008 Under Armour Pre-season All-American and invited to compete in the Under Armour All-American Tournament in Tucson, Ariz.

"What a tremendous career Frankie has enjoyed on defense and with the bat at McKeel Academy," said Polk. "We got to see Frankie in our summer team camp, and he stood out with his athletic skills and baseball instincts. Due to the nature of our underclassmen position player roster, he is the only true position player we will sign in the early signing period. He has a bright future at Mississippi State and we are pleased he signed with MSU."

As a sophomore in 2006, Rawdow led his team with a .458 batting average and 72 hits with 20 stolen bases en route to second-team Class 3A Florida All-State and first-team All-Polk County honors. He also earned second-team, all-state and all-county plaudits as a freshman in 2005.

Rawdow owns the McKeel Academy school career record for hits (114), runs scored (93) and stolen bases (61) and will enter his final season at MA with a school-best .392 career batting average.

"Signing with Mississippi State is like a dream come true for me," he said. "The campus is beautiful and it is a great opportunity to play at a prestigious school and for Ron Polk, the best college baseball coach in the NCAA."

The MSU baseball signee is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society. He is the son of Al and Alisa Rawdow of Lakeland, Fla.

Hewitt-Trussville HS RHP Tyler Johnson

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University has signed right-handed pitcher Tyler Johnson of Trussville, Ala., to a baseball scholarship.

Johnson is a 6-2, 190-pound, three-year letterman at Hewitt-Trussville High School. In 2007 he compiled a 5-3 record with a save and a 2.88 earned run average pitching for coach Jason Eastabrook's Hewitt-Trussville HS Huskies. He recorded 63 strikeouts in 51 innings of mound duty as a junior.

"We are so pleased that this outstanding student-athlete from a great high school program has signed with Mississippi State," said Polk. "He has been a mainstay on the mound for Hewitt-Trussville High School for the past three years, and we expect a big year from him during his senior campaign. He was highly recruited throughout this past summer and early fall, and we expect Tyler to have early success on the mound here next year when he is a Bulldog Baseball student-athlete."

The right-hander has compiled a 14-4 mark in three seasons of varsity high school baseball. He posted a 3-0 record with a 1.30 ERA as a sophomore and was 6-1 with a 1.65 ERA his freshman season in 2005.

Johnson also played summer league baseball in 2006 and 2007 with the Bama Bombers, coached by Greg Legg. In 2006 he was selected to play on the USA Youth National Team that won the gold medal in the Pan American championships held in Venezuela. And in 2007 he was selected to play in the East Coast Pro Showcase held in Lakeland, Fla.

"Signing with Mississippi State is a great honor," he said. "It has always been a dream of mine to play for one of the top baseball programs in the country. I owe much to my mom and dad, because without them I would not be where I am today. I also give a lot of credit to my pitching coach for the last several years, Brian Lamp."

Johnson is a member of the Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Hewitt-Trussville High School. He is the son of Dusty and Janet Johnson of Trussville, Ala.

Homewood HS LHP David Hayes

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University has signed left-handed pitcher David Hayes of Homewood, Ala., to a baseball scholarship.

Hayes is a 6-2, 170-pound two-sport standout at Homewood High School, where he a three-year regular on the mound for coach Doug Gann and for four seasons was a quarterback for the HHS Patriots football team. He compiled a .306 earned run average with five wins, 81 strikeouts and 14 walks in 61-2/3 innings pitched as a junior in 2007 Hayes, a two-time Alabama Baseball Coaches Association All-Star selection, was tabbed as Homewood HS's most outstanding pitcher last season.

"What a great decision we have made in signing David Hayes to a scholarship to attend Mississippi State," said Polk. "This young man is not only a great student but also a pitcher that we are all excited about working with after his senior year at Homewood High School. He is a very athletic young man as he was the quarterback for the Homewood football team. By concentrating all of his attention on baseball in the future, David should blossom on the mound."

He notched a 7-3 record with a 2.61 earned run average and 60 strikeouts in 59 innings pitched as a sophomore and registered a 2.59 ERA his freshman year, posting a one-hitter in his first career varsity start.

"I am honored and excited to be playing for a premier program with great coaches and to have the opportunity to compete for an SEC and national championship," Hayes said.

He played summer league baseball in 2007 on the Alabama National Guard coached by Jarrod Kingrey.

The MSU signee is a 2007-08 Peer Helper at Homewood High School and a member of the HHS chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is the son of Tim and Jean Hayes of Homewood, Ala.

Shelton State CC INF/RHP Justin Bussey

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University has signed middle infielder/pitcher Justin Bussey of Dora, Ala., to a national letter of intent in baseball, MSU head baseball coach John Cohen announced Friday.

Bussey is a 5-11, 163-pound baseball standout from Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he helped lead coach Bobby Sprowl's Buccaneers to a 49-19 record and a fifth-place finish in the 2008 NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.

"In Justin Bussey we have found a talented young man that can fill needs created by the loss of drafted players Aaron Weatherford and Brandon Turner," said Cohen. "He is a very athletic young man who can finish a game on the mound and defend the infield, and he will be a welcomed addition to our ball club."

The MSU signee capped a two-year career at SSCC in 2008 by compiling a .300 batting average with 66 hits, 28 RBI, four home runs and 32 stolen bases in 35 attempts. On the hill, Bussey posted a 3-1 mark with two saves and a sterling 1.26 earned run average while striking out 33 in 28 innings pitched. He earned first-team All-Region and All-Conference honors and was named to the all-tournament team of the ACCC Tournament.

Bussey was a three-sport standout at Dora High School, where as a senior he set the school single-season record with 66 hits and helped lead coach Johnny Wright's DHS Bulldogs to the Class 4A state quarterfinals. He concluded the year with a .413 batting average, 33 RBI and 28 stolen bases and compiled an 11-6 pitching record with a 1.89 ERA. For his exploits Bussey earned Class 4A All-State and All-Metro Birmingham honors and was tabbed the Daily Mountain Eagle 2006 Player of the Year.

Bussey is the son of Jimmy and Julie Bussey of Dora, Ala.

Source for all seven signees is the MSU Media Relations Department

INVITED WALK-ONS

Gulfport HS 1B Nick Ray

Senior Highlights

  • 6-0, 195, Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Led south Mississippi in batting Average (.440) with 42 RBIs {9 Doubles, 1 Triple, and 7 Home Runs}
  • Has a .996 fielding percentage
  • Selected as All-State Player by both the Mississippi Association of Coaches and the Clarion Ledger
  • Selected as a First Team All-District Player
  • Selected to the All South Mississippi Team by the Sun Herald
  • Selected as a 2008 Under Armour Pre-Season All American. Participated in the Under Armour Pre-Season All American Tournament, Tucson, AZ
  • Selected as a "Dandy Dozen", which is the Clarion Ledger's list of the top 12 high school baseball players in Mississippi
  • Selected as one of the "Fabulous Fifteen", which is GenesPage.com's list of top senior baseball players in Mississippi
  • Named to Collegiate Baseball Magazine's "Mississippi Players to Watch"
  • Named to Rawlings Perfect Game's "Southeast Region Top Players List"
  • Attended the Perfect Game World Showcase in Fort Myers, Florida and was recognized as a "Top Prospect"
  • Attended Tulane University's Winter Baseball Camp and was recognized with the camp's "Top Hitter Award"
  • Selected to participate in the "South Mississippi All-Star Classic"
  • Selected to participate on the South Team in the Mississippi Association of Coaches Senior All-Star Game in Jackson, MS Academics and Extracurricular

    Also an excellent student who had a 4.0 grade point average and a 26 ACT score.


    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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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