Tech Baseball Inks 10 in Early Signing Period
Nov. 21, 2001
ATLANTA - Pitcher/first baseman Micah Owings (Gainesville, Ga.), shortstop Tyler Greene (Plantation, Fla.) and pitcher Jason Neighborgall (Hillsborough, N.C.), all ranked among the nation's top 25 high school players, headline 10 student-athletes that have signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Georgia Tech next year, head coach Danny Hall announced.
Rounding out the recruiting class are outfielder Steven Blackwood (Roswell, Ga.), pitcher Jon Crosby (Germantown, Tenn.), catcher Andy Hawranick (Akron, Ohio), pitcher Cameron O'Donnell (Marietta, Ga.), pitcher Ryan Self (Alpharetta, Ga.), first baseman Ryan Stanley (Tampa, Fla.) and third baseman Scott White (Marietta, Ga.).
"We have put together a great recruiting class," said Hall, who is in his ninth season as Tech's head coach. "I think our staff did a great job of filling specific needs that we have, and we have assembled a group that is talented both on the field and academically."
Owings, who is listed as the 10th best high school prospect in the country by Team One Baseball, led Gainesville High School the to the 2001 Georgia AAA State Championship while batting .469 with 15 home runs as a junior. On the mound, he struck out 69 batters in 60 innings while allowing just 34 hits. Last summer, Owings led the East Cobb Yankees to the championship of the Connie Mack World Series while earning MVP honors in the process.
Greene is listed as the top shortstop in the nation by several publications after leading St. Thomas Aquinas to the Florida state championship game last spring while batting .500 with 21 stolen bases and 43 runs scored in 106 at bats. He was selected to the 2001 Florida 5-A first-team All-State team.
Neighborgall, who currently attends Riverside High School in Hillsborough, N.C., is rated as the No. 2 high school prospect in the nation by The Perfect Game.
"Micah Owings is one of the better hitters in the country," said Hall. "All three of those guys - Owings, Greene and Neighborgall - have the potential to be very high draft picks out of high school. They have outstanding abilities, and they will certainly help our team compete for a national championship."
Blackwood, who attends Roswell High School, was a teammate of Owings on the East Cobb Yankees team that captured the Connie Mack World Series championship last summer. As a junior, he hit .467 with nine home runs and 27 RBI while earning North Fulton Player of the Year honors. He currently holds East Cobb's single season records for home runs, runs scored and hits.
Crosby helped Christian Brothers High School to back-to-back Tennessee State Championships in 2000 and 2001, standing as the winning pitcher in both championship games. As a junior he posted an 8-4 record and a 1.62 ERA while tossing a school-record 79.1 innings en route to earning All-State honors.
Hawranick is considered one of the top defensive catchers in the nation while attending Uniontown Lake High School. He continues Tech's "Ohio Connection" that has produced former Yellow Jacket standouts Chuck Crowder, Steve Kelly, Jason Basil and Derik Goffena, among others.
O'Donnell currently attends Middle Georgia Junior College after graduating from North Cobb High School last spring. A power pitcher at 6-5, 210 pounds, he missed most of his senior season at North Cobb with an arm injury. Now healthy, O'Donnell is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the state of Georgia and he will enroll at Tech next fall as a sophomore.
Self was another member of the East Cobb Yankees team that captured the 2001 Connie Mack World Series championship while posting an 11-1 record for his summer baseball teams. In 2000, he posted an 8-1 record and a 2.53 ERA at Milton High School while helping lead his team to the Region 5-AAAA championship.
Stanley, considered a top power prospect at first base, hit .405 with six home runs and earned all-county honors as a junior at Jesuit High School, the same school that produced current Tech football stars George Godsey and Will Glover. Stanley helped lead Jesuit to the Florida State Championship in 1999 and to the regionals in 2001.
White, who attends Walton High School, was also a member of the East Cobb Yankees team that won the 2001 Connie Mack World Series. As a junior, he set a Walton record with a .516 batting average with four home runs and a team-high 35 RBI and 16 stolen bases. He was named to the All-Cobb County team by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and the Marietta Daily Journal.
"Tyler Greene and Scott White will help fill the left side of our infield," said Hall. "Ryan Self and Jon Crosby both have big upside potential and will only continue to improve. Ryan Stanley has the chance to be a very good power hitter in college, and Andy Hawranick is one of the better defensive catchers in the nation. Cameron O'Donnell is a guy who has all the potential to be a bog-time pitcher at the Division I level.
"All in all, this is a very talented group," Hall continued. "They will compliment the young players that we currently have on our team right now. We are very pleased to have all of these guys join our program at Georgia Tech."
2001 Georgia Tech Baseball Early Signees Name POS B/T HT WT Hometown (High School/JC) Steven Blackwood OF L/L 5-11 190 Roswell, Ga. (Roswell) Jon Crosby P R/R 6-4 180 Germantown, Tenn. (Christian Brothers) Tyler Greene SS R/R 6-2 185 Plantation, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas) Andy Hawranick C R/R 6-2 190 Akron, Ohio (Uniontown Lake) Jason Neighborgall P R/R 6-4 190 Hillsborough, N.C. (Riverside) Cameron O'Donnell P R/R 6-5 210 Marietta, Ga. (North Cobb/Middle Ga. JC) Micah Owings P/1B R/R 6-5 210 Gainesville, Ga. (Gainesville) Ryan Self P L/L 6-2 185 Alpharetta, Ga. (Milton) Ryan Stanley 1B R/R 6-5 215 Tampa, Fla. (Jesuit) Scott White 3B R/R 6-2 190 Marietta, Ga. (Walton)