Solidifying Visit

Jordan Poole

Jordan Poole visited Ole Miss last Monday and Tuesday, then committed later in the week. What a phone call early on July 1 started, the visit wrapped up.

Poole, a stellar offensive player as well as a solid infielder and outfielder, heard from the Rebel baseball coaches on the day they are able to call rising seniors. That it was an early call was significant to Poole.

"They were the first to call," said the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Calhoun, Ga., product, who will ink with the Rebs during the November signing period. "It meant a lot to me for them to be the first ones."

Others called but Poole remembered Ole Miss. When he took that visit last week, he was sold.

"I was really impressed," he said of his time on campus and in Oxford. "The facilities, the classrooms, the (FedEx) Athletic Academic Center, the stadium. It was all unreal."

But real enough for Poole to know it is where he wants to spend his college years and play baseball.

Furman and Florida International had offered scholarships. LSU, Clemson, Texas Christian, and others had shown great interest.

Again, the visit last week was key.

"I haven't been to a game there," he said. "But I saw that it's a small college town and sports is really big there. Everything seemed to revolve around sports. I'm from a small town, and it just seemed like a really good fit for me."

Poole will be a senior at Calhoun High School this year. He's had a busy summer, playing in a National Showcase Tournament in Minnesota in June, in a big tournament this month at East Cobb in the Atlanta area, and he played most recently in a tournament in Ft. Myers, Fla. He may still play in the Southeast Showcase.

Whatever he does from this point on, there is one thing he won't have to worry about.

"It's a relief to go ahead and decide," he said of his college choice. "It's a weight off your shoulders. I can relax more now and just go play."

Poole said he didn't mind the college coaches checking in on his games, however.

"I liked them watching me," he said. "It gave me incentive to perform to the best of my ability. So I liked it in that respect. But now I can just go out and play looser and not worry about anything."

His junior year stats seem to show he wasn't worried about anything anyway. He batted .395 with 16 home runs and 43 RBI. He walked 38 times.

During the playoffs in one game he was 2-for-3 with a home run, and in another 2-for-3 with two home runs.

He has been named All-Area by the Rome (Ga.) News Tribune and by the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Free Press. He's a first baseman but can also play either corner of the infield or the outfield.

This summer, Poole, who bats and throws right, said he played about half the time with a wood bat and half the time with a metal bat.

"I've been pretty consistent this summer," he said. "I've hit six home runs, but I've been seeing better pitching in summer ball."

It's all been a good test as he enters his senior season, and he'd like to build on it prior to coming to Ole Miss.

"I'd like to get stronger. You can never be too strong," Poole said. "I want to work on my hitting, even though that's my strong point. I want to get my average up, and I'd like to break the (Georgia) high school record for home runs, which is 25 in a season.

"I ran a 6.65 (in the 60) in Minnesota," he continued. "I don't know if my big, long legs can move much faster than that."

Now that Poole has decided on his choice of college, that can also go on the list of things to try to improve.

"I'm just glad I've gotten (the decision) over with," he said. "I feel great about choosing Ole Miss."

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