ATLANTA - The Georgia State baseball team added eight student-athletes who signed a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period, head coach Greg Frady announced on Wednesday. The group is made up of seven freshman and one junior college transfer who will be on campus starting next fall.
"I am extremely excited about this year's signing class," commented head coach Greg Frady. "Our entire staff worked very hard as this was a big class for us. With 15 seniors on this year's team, we had a very big gap to fill. We made a conscious effort to go with a youth movement, but these players are talented and I think will give us a foundation as we move forward with a team to build around."
"Our goal for this year was to sign 10 to 12 players over the course of the year. We wanted to sign at least half in the early signing period and the closer we could get to that, the better we thought our team would be. I think it turned out fantastic."
The group includes two pitchers, two infielders, three outfielders and one catcher.
The 2010-2011 early signing class includes:
Kody Adams OF 5-9 175 lbs. L/L
Williamson, Ga. (Pike Co. HS)
Caleb Gore SS 6-1 170 lbs. R/R
Cumming, Ga. (North Forsyth HS)
Jerry Stuckey RHP 6-1 195 lbs. R/R
Perry, Ga. (Home School)
Kenny Straus IF/OF 6-0 185 lbs. L/R
Atlanta, Ga. (Whitefield Academy/Duke/Georgia Perimeter JC)
Connor Stanley RHP 6-3 195 lbs. R/R
Oviedo, Fla. (Oviedo HS)
Jordan Weems C 6-3 175 lbs. L/R
Columbus, Ga. (Columbus HS)
Drew Wesolowski OF/1B 6-0 195 lbs. R/R
Brooks, Ga. (Whitewater HS)
Deion Williams SS 6-3 190 lbs. R/R
Stone Mountain, Ga. (Redan HS)
Georgia State enters the 2011 season after back-to-back appearances in the CAA Championship, including a title and NCAA Regional berth in 2009. The Panthers led the nation with 10.5 runs per game during the 2010 season and return all but four players. A school-record six players earned All-CAA honors as State finished with 34 wins, the second most in school history. This group of signees will start to replace a group of 15 seniors that will graduated after the 2011 season.
Here is an in-depth look at each new Panther:
Kody Adams is an outfielder who played for Don Harrison at Pike County High School in Zebulon, Ga....Adams also played summer ball for the Big Sixx Gamers, which are coached by former Panthers Mark Mortimer and Jack Stewart...Adams was named the Region 5-AA Player of the Year after his junior year, batting .412 with nine home runs, 38 RBIs, 13 doubles and a .863 slugging percentage...He has earned all-region honors during each of the last three seasons, leading Pike County to the region championship each year...As a sophomore, he batted .557 with four home runs, 32 RBIs, nine doubles and 18 stolen bases...As a freshman, Adams batted .439 with 28 stolen bases...The multi-sport athlete also played football and ran track in high school, earning all-region honors in football in 2009...Kody is one of two children to Ricky and Mitsey Adams...He intends to major in sports medicine.
Caleb Gore is a middle-infielder who played for Jim Cahill at North Forsyth High School...He earned all-county second team honors after his junior season in which he batted .342 with 14 RBIs and a .434 on base percentage...During the 2010 season, he had a pair of star performances, scoring the game winning hit against Norcross and going 3-for-3 with a double and two walks against North Gwinnett...Caleb has earned scholar athlete honors and was a nominee for the National Honor Society...He played summer ball for Danny Prago, as well as former Panthers Ryan Sterling and Adam Bowling...His team, 643 DP, is currently ranked 21st in the country by Perfect Game USA for 18u travel teams...The multi-sport star also played basketball during his freshman and sophomore seasons...Caleb is one of two children to Lori Gore.
Connor Stanley is a right-handed pitcher from Oviedo High School in Oviedo, Fla...Connor went 4-1 with a 2.32 ERA and 25 strikeouts in just 31 innings pitched for head coach Harold Hitt, leading the team to a runner-up finish in District 3...He pitched behind A.J. Cole, who was a fourth round pick in the MLB Draft this past June...During his sophomore year, went 5-1 with a 2.05 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched, including a complete game one-hitter against Hagerty HS...Over the summer, played for FTB/Mizuno, going 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched, helping to lead the squad to the title at the WBF World Championships and Mizuno Classic, as well as a runner-up finish at the WWBA 17u Championship...His summer team is ranked second in the country by Perfect Game USA for 17u travel teams...Connor is one of two children to James and Kelli Stanley...Baseball runs in his family as his brother, Taylor, was a student manager for Auburn for five years...He plans to major in marketing at Georgia State.
Kenny Straus was a four-year letter winner at Whitefield Academy who will transfer to Georgia State after playing this season at Georgia Perimeter College. He spent the 2010 season at Duke, seeing action in three games and batting .250 with one RBI...At Whitefield, he earned all-state honors during his senior year, while earning all-county honors during all four seasons at Whitefield...He played summer ball for the East Cobb Panthers, which were founded by the late Jim Sterling, whose son, Ryan Sterling played for Georgia State, as well as Mike Buchanan who is a Panther alum...He is the son of Tim and Darden Straus...His father is a coach in the Atlanta Braves organization and played baseball locally at Oglethorpe...His grandfather played football at N.C. State.
Jerry Stuckey of Perry, Ga., is currently ranked as the 45th best player in the state by PGCrosschecker while playing for the Homeplate Chilidogs, coached by Lloyd Thompson and former Panther Rodney Dickinson...Jerry helped his team to an eighth place finish at the Homeschool World Series last year...He is one of four children to Jerry and Gail Stuckey...He plans to major in business management at Georgia State.
Jordan Weems is a catcher who played for Bobby Howard at Columbus High School...Jordan led Columbus to its 10th state championship in 2010 as the team went 32-5...At the plate, he batted .403 during his junior year, earning All-Bi City from the Columbus Ledger Enquirer, while also being named to the Georgia Dugout Club Top 100...In 2009, he batted .357...His top performance came when he went 3-for-4 in the state playoffs against Thompson, collecting three doubles and four RBIs...He is one of three children to Rick and Lisa Weems...His father played baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals, while his brother was a fourth round selection of the New York Yankees and is currently playing in the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Drew Wesolowski can play either first base or the outfield and will join the Panthers after graduating from Whitewater High School in Fayetteville, Ga., this spring...Drew played for Bobby Gatlin, leading his team to a 27-5 record and the state semifinals in 2010...He earned all-region honors from the Fayette Daily News last season, as well as All-American Honorable Mention from Perfect Game...During his junior season, he batted .350 with six home runs and 36 RBIs to go along with 37 runs scored and a .770 slugging percentage...In 2009, Drew was named a top 10 southeast prospect by Perfect Game after batting .500 in limited action with the varsity squad, playing behind MLB draftee Miles Head...His top performance came in the 2010 GHSAA State Quarterfinals in which he went 5-for-8 with two home runs and five RBIs to help lead Whitewater to a sweep of Jones County...The two-sport star also played football, while playing summer ball for Home Plate, a team coached by former Georgia State star Rodney Dickinson...He is one of three children to Jim and Roxann Wesolowski...He plans to major in exercise science.
Deion Williams is a nationally ranked prospect from Redan High School where he played for Marvin Pruitt, one of the most successful baseball coaches in the state...A multi-tool shortstop, Deion currently ranked as the fifth best player in the state of Georgia and is ranked 86th nationally by PGCrosschecker...He led Redan to the final four of the state playoffs last season, one of the top finishes in school history...Last year, he participated in the Under Armour All-American Game after playing summer ball for former Panthers Mark Mortimer and Jack Stewart...He is one of three children to Dion and Colette Wyatt Williams...Baseball has a long tradition in his family as his grandfather, George Scott, signed with the Boston Red Sox and spent 13 years playing professional baseball. His father Dion also played in the Boston Red Sox organization and was the head coach at McNair High School for 11 years, winning 200 games.
"With any new group of players, they represent the student-athletes who have been here. Our recruits and now signees, represent themselves and where we want to take the program. We have great hope and optimism in this year's team and hope that our current squad can be a springboard for the new players that are coming in next fall."
The eight complete Georgia State's early signing class, but Frady and the Panthers will add to the group in the spring when the late signing period begins in mid-April.
Georgia State opens the 2011 season at home on Feb. 18, facing Texas Southern at 6 p.m.