GHC wraps up busy summer on recruiting trail
by Jason Greenberg
Jul 23, 2014 | 1735 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If someone happened to visit the LakePoint baseball complex over the course of the past three weeks, there is a good chance that person ran into Georgia Highlands head coach Mike Marra.

Marra has been busy on the recruiting trail lately as he solidified his 2014 recruiting class and has made several offers to 2015 prospects.

“We’ve had a very busy summer,” Marra said. “We’re at LakePoint every day. We’ve seen a lot of great 2015 guys. We’ve had a lot of positive responses. After a game at LakePoint, we’ll go and drive 10 minutes to see the campus.”

Over the last three weeks, Perfect Game has held its 18U, 17U and 16U World Wood Bat Championships in Northwest Georgia. Marra has scouted rising senior prospects, including Cass’ Chris Hill and Cartersville’s Micah Smith and Wyatt Barnett, among others. Smith and Barnett visited the campus Friday, and Marra said, “We’ve probably had a few dozen kids visit this summer.”

The close proximity between the Georgia Highlands campus and multiple host locations to the Perfect Game events has provided a unique recruiting opportunity for Marra to bring prospective students in for visits. That along with the advantage of showing off the new LakePoint facility, which will be GHC’s homefield in 2015, has made for a productive recruiting period.

“It’s been very, very good. We’ve had a lot of positive responses, just from the facility. People come up to me randomly at LakePoint and think it’s a great thing that we’re here, so it’s been a lot of fun the past three weeks. I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Marra said. “We’ve already had a 2015 commit. To get one already is pretty impressive. It’s very rare to get a JUCO commit before school has even started, so that’s nice. We’ve made some offers to kids already, but we’ll probably not hear anything from them until after Thanksgiving.”

Marra said most commits wait until after Thanksgiving to commit, but he believes his program has made progress early in the process.

Marra is now focusing on the upcoming fall season, which he expects to see 63 players compete for a spot during the spring season. With just nine players returning from the 2014 team that went 20-33 in its inaugural season and just 18 currently on scholarship, Marra is expecting plenty of competition for spots in the fall.

Of the 63, former Cartersville catcher Ty Fowler is the only Bartow County product returning. He will be joined in the fall by former teammates Brent Arnold, Destin Herron and Garrett Rutledge, along with former Cass players Alex Yauslin and Trevor Odum.

“I love our recruiting class. I think we’ll be a lot better than what we were last year. We filled some needs, so I think it’s going to be an exciting year,” Marra said. “We have 63 coming in the fall, a lot of them are trying to make the team. We have the entire fall and they’ll have an opportunity. We signed 11 and the rest are coming in trying to get a spot. We’re going to keep 30-32.”

Until the season starts, Marra will continue getting the team ready for the first day of workouts on Aug. 10.

“The big three tournaments are done. We went to the Braves tryout in Rome, had a couple of our guys there. We got a lead on a player; we have some more visits coming up, pretty much now is all about the 2015 class and getting everybody ready to go for the fall,” he said. “Pretty much every Saturday in September we have a scrimmage against another school. We’ll have intrasquad scrimmages during the week. We have a good group, a very talented group, so we’re going to have some decisions to make.”