STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University head baseball coach has announced the signing of eight baseball players to national letters of intent to open the week-long November signing period for baseball.
"Our coaching staff has put together another outstanding collection of highly-skilled baseball signees," said Cohen. "Last year's recruiting class was more of a pitching-oriented class and included more junior college signees. This year's class is dominated by players from the high school ranks and features some versatile players who could play two or more positions. We've got some very good players in this class, but the most impressive thing about this group is its overall athleticism."
The initial group of signees from the fall signing class includes outfielder Cody Abraham (Sugar Land, Texas), catcher Brett Bozeman (Gainesville, Fla.), C.T. Bradford (Pace, Fla.), Victor Diaz (Perth Amboy, N.J.), outfielder Corey Dickerson (Brookhaven, Miss.), shortstop Adam Frazier (Bishop, Ga.), shortstop Demarcus Henderson (Waynesboro, Miss.), and shortstop Chase Lewallen (Sumrall, Miss.). All are signees from the prep ranks except Bozeman, from Santa Fe (Fla.) College and Dickerson, from Meridian (Miss.) Community College.
OF ● 5-11 ● 165 ● L/L ● Sugar Land, Texas (Lamar Consolidated High School)
HIGH SCHOOL: Two-time honorable mention all-state selection as an outfielder at Lamar Consolidated High School in Sugar Land, Texas ... Coached by Greg Kobza ... Hit .420 with 35 hits, 35 RBI 13 extra-base hits and team-best 20 stolen bases ... First-team all-district and all-area selection in 2009 and tabbed as Texas' top prep player ... Selected to play in the Houston Area Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game ... Hit .410 with 17 extra-bases hits and a team-leading 23 stolen bases ... Second-team all-district pick as a sophomore ... Hit .456 with 36 hits and 24 stolen bases en route to district freshman of the year honors ... Two-time member of the A-B honor roll at LCHS ... Played four seasons of summer league baseball in Houston for the Columbia Angels, coached by Clay Hill.
PERSONAL: Born Cody Michael Abraham on August 15, 1991 in Baton Rouge, La. ... Son of JoAnn and Tommy Abraham of Sugar Land, Texas ... Nephew of MSU Associate Vice President/Executive Director of Alumni Activities Jimmy Abraham and cousin of former Bulldog baseball players Jim and Josh Abraham.
ABRAHAM ON SIGNING WITH MSU: "It's more than an honor to play baseball at Mississippi State. It has been my dream since I was a little kid."
COACH LANE BURROUGHS ON ABRAHAM: "Cody plays the game like a throwback of an earlier era. He is an extremely hard worker that gets the most out of his ability, is a very skilled and confident player that plays with great energy and passion. Cody is a lifelong Bulldog fan that understands the history and tradition of Mississippi State Baseball. He prepped in a highly competitive area of Houston, Texas. He knows how to pressure a defense, covers a lot of ground in the outfield and possesses an extremely strong throwing arm."
C ● 6-1 ● 205 ● L/R ● Gainesville, Fla. (Buchholz High School / Santa Fe [Fla.] College)
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterman and three-year starter at Gainesville's Buchholz High School ... Coached during his prep career by Bob Smith and David Barnes ... Capped a stellar prep career with the Bobcats hitting .494 with 32 RBI and five home runs in 2008 ...
A 2008 first-team Class 6A All-State selection as a catcher ... Also tabbed as BHS's outstanding player of the year and the Gainesville Sun Player of the Year ... Hit .378 as a junior, earning defensive MVP/Golden Glove honors at Buchholz HS ... Recipient of his team's Steve Lombardozzi Hardest Worker Award as a sophomore ... Earned honor roll status his final two years in high school.
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Hit .353 with 49 hits, 14 doubles and 32 RBI in leading coach Johnny Wiggs' SFC Saints to a runner-up finish in the 2009 junior college world series ... Earned first-team All Mid-Florida Conference as a catcher and conference defensive player of the year honors in 2009 ... Elected captain for the 2010 season.
PERSONAL: Born Brett E. Bozeman on October 13, 1989 in Gainesville, Fla. ... Son of Melissa and Lou Bozeman of Gainesville, Fla.
BOZEMAN ON SIGNING WITH MSU: "It's always been a dream of mine to play Division 1 baseball. It's amazing that I will get to play in a program like Mississippi State. After I took my visit to Mississippi State, I didn't want to visit anywhere else. It was amazing to see how the town supports the baseball program. I could not think of a better place to play college baseball."
COACH LANE BURROUGHS ON BOZEMAN: "Brett has a chance to become a dominant defensive force in the SEC. He has tremendous receiving and throwing skills to go along with great leadership ability. He's an extremely hard worker with excellent makeup. Brett is a middle of the order hitter for one of the top junior college programs in the state of Florida."
OF ● 5-9 ● 160 ● L/L ● Pace, Fla. (Pace High School)
HIGH SCHOOL: Two-year starting outfielder for coach Charlie Warner and Pace High School ... Hit .423 with 25 RBI, a .600 on-base percentage and
18 stolen bases in 19 attempts as a junior ... Tabbed the Class 5A Northwest Florida Player of the Year and earned 2009 Pensacola Journal All-Area honors ... Competitive lefty on the mound, compiling a 7-1 pitching mark with a 1.20 ERA, 113 strikeouts and 13 walks in 66 innings of mound work ... Starred for Coach Emilio Fernandez' Florida Bombers in 2009 summer league baseball, compiling a .420 batting average and earning team MVP honors on offense ... Starred at PHS in 2008, hitting .453 and posting a 6-3 record and 1.28 ERA ... Earned first-team all-area and second-team Florida Sports Writers Association All-State honors.
PERSONAL: Born Christopher Taylor Bradford on April 12, 1991 in Pensacola, Fla. ... Son of Theresa and Mike Bradford of Pace, Fla. ... His father, Mike, was a two-year starting third baseman at Mississippi State (1982-83).
BRADFORD ON SIGNING WITH MSU: "I'm excited and ready to get after it. I can't wait to be a Bulldog!"
COACH BUTCH THOMPSON ON BRADFORD: "In recruiting, C.T. ran above SEC average and showed exceptional strike zone awareness with an ability to run deep counts on pitchers. He patrolled the outfield with instincts and a strong, true arm. Playing in two great programs like Pace High School and with the Florida Bombers have prepared him well. Bulldog fans will enjoy watching how competitive C.T. is in everything he does."
RHP ● 6-1 ● 200 ● R/R ● Perth Amboy, N.J. (St. Joseph High School)
HIGH SCHOOL: All-division pitcher at St. Joseph High School ... Compiled a 5-1 record with a 3.38 earned run average as a junior in 2009 ... Tallied 38 strikeouts in 39.1 innings ... Coached at SJHS by Paul Esposito ... Also earned second-team all conference and third-team all-county honors in 2009 ... Played summer league baseball in 2008 and 2009 with NJ Super 17, coached by Justin Jensen and Bobby Burch ... Honor roll student ... Also played basketball as a freshman.
PERSONAL: Born Victor A. Diaz on January 3, 1993 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey ... Son of Santia and Victor Diaz of Hopelawn, N.J.
DIAZ ON SIGNING WITH MSU: "It is a dream come true. There is no better place to play baseball than at Mississippi State because of its great baseball tradition."
COACH BUTCH THOMPSON ON DIAZ: "Victor has a simple, smooth delivery and feel for a potential plus changeup. His arm action and movement patterns caught our eye immediately. Victor and his family made a visit to Starkville this summer and he was instantly attracted to the program and the university. He has worked on his game with former Bulldog pitcher, Keith Dilgard, at the Jack Cust Baseball Academy. Victor's appreciation of our facilities, history and tradition was very refreshing to our coaches."
OF ● 6-2 ● 205 ● L/R ● Brookhaven, Miss. (Brookhaven Academy/Meridian [Miss.] C.C)
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year multi-sport standout at Brookhaven Academy, starring as an infielder for coach Stephen Cooksey ... Led the Cougars with a .597 batting average and a school-record 16 home runs as a senior, earning his third straight all-district designation ... Tabbed district MVP and recipient of the Cougar Leadership Award ... Also named to the MPSA All-Star team ... Piled up a MPSA-record 45 career home runs ... Played on three state championship basketball teams and earned MPSA All-Star status ... Also earned all-district honors as a four-year letterman in football.
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Starred in center field in 2009 at Meridian (Miss.) Community College ... Hit .381 with 54 RBI and 15 home runs and led the team with 21 doubles, five triples and 14 stolen bases in 14 attempts ... Helped lead coach Chris Rose's MCC Eagles to a 36-17 record in 2009, earning NJCAA All-America honors ... Also selected for all-conference and all-region honors ... A 29th-round draft selection of the Colorado Rockies in Major League Baseball's 2009 June draft.
PERSONAL: Born McKenzie Corey Dickerson on May 22, 1989 in McComb, Miss. ... Son of Becky and Tim Dickerson of Brookhaven, Miss.
DICKERSON ON SIGNING WITH MSU: "I feel very blessed and privileged to be signing with Mississippi State."
COACH LANE BURROUGHS ON DICKERSON: "Corey is one of the top offensive threats in the entire southeast. He is extremely physical and possesses tremendous bat speed. He is a legitimate power threat and runs extremely well. Corey is a very confident player that should make an immediate impact in the SEC. He has tremendous work ethic with a strong desire to play at the highest level."
SS ● 5-10 ● 165 ● L/R ● Bishop, Ga. (Oconee County High School)
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starting middle infielder for coach Stan Fricks at Oconee County High School ... First-team all-state and two-time All-Region 8AAAA and All-County selection ... Led Oconee County HS with a .510 batting average, 51 hits, a school-record 17 doubles and 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts ... Served as team captain in 2009 and honored as the Warriors' best hitter ... Selected to attend Perfect Game and Under Armour national tryouts ... Paced OCHS at the plate as a sophomore in 2008 with a .447 batting average, 51 hits and 18 extra-base hits ... Honored as his team's best hitter and Gold Glove Award winner ... Also lettered two seasons in basketball ... DECA state finalist (marketing) and recipient of the 2008 Epic Award (U.S. History) ... Played two seasons of summer league baseball with Team Elite, coached by Brad Bouras.
PERSONAL: Born December 14, 1991 in Athens, Ga. ... Son of Danielle and Tim Frazier of Bishop, Ga.
FRAZIER ON SIGNING WITH MSU: "I am very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of such a great program and school. I can't wait for the fall of 2010!"
COACH BUTCH THOMPSON ON FRAZIER: "Coach Burroughs and I had the opportunity to evaluate Adam in high school and summer. His efforts in McAlester, Oklahoma as shortstop for Team Georgia solidified his potential as an SEC infielder. Adam has an advance stroke angle with contact potential as a left-handed hitter, has shown great consistency with his fielding and is running above the SEC average. The most exciting attribute of Adam is his character and consistency that he has demonstrated in the recruiting process both on and off the field."
SS ● 5-11 ● 175 ● R/R ● Waynesboro, Miss. (Wayne County High School)
HIGH SCHOOL: A three-time all-district performer and four-year starter at Wayne County High School ... Hit .455 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI as a junior in 2009 ... Anchored the War Eagles' infield at shortstop ... Coached the past three seasons by Chris McCardle ... Tabbed team MVP as a junior ... Registered 16 stolen bases in 2009 ... Also starred on the mound with a 6-2 record and a 1.80 earned run average ... One of his two losses was a complete-game no-hitter ... Joined fellow MSU signees Chase Lewallen, Daryl Norris and Taylor Stark on the Padres' squad in the 2009 East Coast Showcase held in Lakeland, Fla. ... The first Division I Starting quarterback on the WCHS football team ... Member of the Beta Club, the Wayne County Student Council and the National Honor Society.
PERSONAL: Born Demarcus LaDouglas Henderson on December 23, 1991 in Laurel, Miss. ... Son of Coretta and Shelton Henderson of Waynesboro, Miss.
HENDERSON ON SIGNING WITH MSU: "Playing baseball for Mississippi State is a dream come true for me. I've always dreamed of playing baseball in college someday, and now I get that chance."
COACH LANE BURROUGHS ON HENDERSON: "Demarcus is a multi-talented athlete that makes everyone around him better on and off the field. He is a legitimate middle infield prospect with off-the-charts makeup and work ethic. He is extremely competitive with great leadership qualities and plays the game the way it is supposed to be played."
SS ● 5-10 ● 175 ● L/R ● Sumrall, Miss. (Sumrall High School)
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-time Class 3A All-State selection as a middle infielder at Sumrall High School ... Hit .437 with 47 RBI, 35 extra-base hits, helping lead coach Larry Knight's Bobcats to a 36-0 record and the 2009 state championship ... Pilfered 25 bases ... Hit .421 for SHS in 2008 ... Starred his first two prep seasons at Magee High School ... Hit .486 and earned team MVP honors in 2007 and was tabbed his team's top defensive player in 2006.
PERSONAL: Born Destin Chase Lewallen on September 9, 1990 in Jackson, Miss. ... Son of Angie Gillen of Sumrall, Miss. and Hank Lewallen of Star, Miss.
LEWALLEN ON SIGNING WITH MSU: "I am looking forward to playing under Coach Cohen and very excited about becoming a Mississippi State Bulldog!"
COACH LANE BURROUGHS ON LEWALLEN: "Chase is a hard-nosed, gritty ball player whose motor never stops. He's extremely competitive and aggressive on the baseball field and rates as one of the top hitters and offensive threats in the state. Chase is very well coached at Sumrall High School and is the type of player that can excel at numerous spots on the field."