Playing at El Toro (Calif.) High School, Gavin Collins always figured his college baseball career would be in the Pac 12. But that all changed this past summer and it eventually led to the catcher to last week's decision.
The 6-foot and 190-pound catcher became MSU's latest commitment for head coach John Cohen's Class of 2013 last week.
"I committed last Tuesday," said Collins. "I was going to wait until after school that day but I couldn't wait any longer. So I called (MSU assistant) Coach (Nick) Mingione right then and told him the good news. He was speechless at first and then he got real excited. His reaction just reassured me that I made the right decision."
Collins also held offers from Arizona State, San Diego State, Fresno State and Long Beach State along with interest from Southern Cal, Texas, Oregon and Utah. He said he officially visited MSU last month and the feeling he got on campus eventually led to his decision.
"I went on an official visit there about four weeks ago," said Collins. "All the players made me feel at home. They all know what they are doing and seem to have a plan to win and win big. I just loved that atmosphere there and it seems like an awesome place to be."
Collins said the Diamond Dogs' staff first began recruiting him this past summer during one of his travel ball tournaments. And that was the start of a strong relationship with the MSU staff, Collins said.
"I was playing in Georgia with one of our travel teams," said Collins. "Then Coach Mingione got in touch with my coach after that tournament and called me to set up my official visit. In between that tournament and my visit, I also played with the U17 Team USA squad in North Carolina and Mississippi State saw me play again."
Once Collins began receiving offers, he noted initially he thought he wound end up at a Pac 12 school. But obviously that changed this past summer and he now looks forward to playing in the SEC.
"In my mind the SEC and Pac 12 are the top two conferences in college baseball," said Collins. "So I wanted to play in one of those conferences. About a year ago I was thinking the SEC is all the way in the South and I didn't think any of those schools would ever look at me. So I was looking more at Pac 12 schools.
"But all of that changed when I went to that tournament in Georgia. It changed my whole perspective and I am glad it worked out like it did."