Jarnigan Interview

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Questions About College Baseball Recruiting


Coach John Jarnigan
Head Baseball Coach
Morehead State University
Morehead, Kentucky


Question: :How important is it for a player to attend a college team's summer camp? (Assuming that he is interested in a particular school)

Answer: I think it has value because you get to see the coaching staff in another light. It is a chance to build a relationship for both parties.

Question: When should a player write a letter of introduction to a college coach? (9th grade, 10th grade, etc.)

Answer: At the very end of his 11th grade year. That summer is the "recruiting" summer. He may attend camps prior to that - for exposure

Question: Is it better to have the high school coach write / send the first letter?

Answer: Both

Question: Do sending copies of high school / summer team statistics help? Are they of value to you, when included with an introductory letter?

Answer: Maybe -- It depends on where he plays -- measuring competition

Question: Should a player or coach send copies of clippings from local newspapers that include highlights about the player?

Answer: I really don't know -- If we are on a guy we watch everything he does so it is helpful

Question: Are the "online" internet recruiting services taken seriously by college coaches? Would you recommend them to a high school player and his family?

Answer: NO! Not yet. Would I recommend? Not for the price they are asking. Bottom line -- the player must be good enough.

Question: Should a player send a video tape of himself in baseball situations and games? How important is the editing of the tape? Should it be professionally done?

Answer: YES -- very important -- it draws a program to that baseball player

Question: If a tape is beneficial to you what suggestions would you make? What should be included?

Answer: It must be short but have all of the player's components. I suggest all game footage.

Question: :What items would you suggest to "leave out" of a tape?

Answer: Anything that does not deal with the player's game

Question: Assuming that a player has received and completed / returned a "baseball questionnaire" from a college, is it a good idea to contact the coach by telephone?


A player may call at anytime -- but if they have not been called by the program -- they may be waiting or they do not have a need at that player's position

After the player's 11th grade year -- then again in the fall of the senior year (Jan, Feb, March)

Question: With the continuous increase in the number of "Showcases", in recent years ... How important is it for a player to attend this type of event?

Answer: To me very important because he gets to be seen by a lot of schools quickly. The only thing is that they really cost which is a risk in itself

Question: Does the fact that a player has attended an "invitation only" type Showcase, such as Team One, Area Code or Top Gun help a player when he expresses an interest in a particular college?

Answer: NO -- It just means that he did that. Most coaches do not think this is an indication of his ability -- most player's must been seen by the coaches

Question: How important is a player's physical appearance? I do not mean is he 6'-1" tall and weigh 200 pounds. What I am referring to is tattoos, body piercing, dress, odd hair styles, etc. Are any or all of these items a "negative" to a college coach?

Answer: Appearance is important. It is an indication of who the player is. What he likes -- but it can not be the sole indicator -- many preachers have stolen all of the money people own.

Question: If a player has a bad game, when a college coach is in the stands watching him for the first time, does that mean it is "over" as far as that school is concerned

Answer: There are no bad days -- only bad performances. It is not over if the player hustles.

Question: How important is a player's "attitude appearance" when in a game or at a practice?

Answer: I think it is most important. Does he get after it? Does he play hard? These are the things you can not teach -- either he does or he doesn't. Either he competes or he doesn't.

Question: As the head coach of a smaller Division 1 university what are the major differences in recruiting when compared to the "major" schools?

Answer: We do not put a coach "on the road". Most of our players are from our state.

Question: :As the coach of a smaller school do you recruit on a more regional scope than other larger schools?

Answer: Yes

Question: So many high school players have the attitude that if they do not play college baseball at one of the D1 top 40 programs they have failed. What advice can you offer a high school player regarding the "big school" stigma?

Answer: Not everyone in the Big Leagues played at L.S.U. Last year we had a player go in the third round of the draft. ($305,000) And a player that came in 4th in the nation in K's per 9 innings -- He went to the Rockies.

A player should go to a school where he can play, get an education and have a wonderful experience.

Question: I know from talking to you that many times you will recruit a player based on his "projected" abilities. What type of intangibles do you look for when trying to do this?

Answer: We look at size, speed -- but only for strength at certain positions. Are players going to get bigger and stronger? At a small school you have to take more chances.

Coach John Jarnigan
Head Baseball Coach
Morehead State University


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Revised February 09, 2003 .