LeCroy building next great recruiting class one mile at a time

by - Staff Writer -

Four days, four states, 1800 miles and 26 hours spent in the car.

Welcome to the life of a college baseball recruiter.

While the Clemson baseball players were busy studying for exams last week, assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Bradley LeCroyBradley LeCroy
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was traveling across the southeast region of the country, scouting players for Clemson’s 2013 recruiting class and beyond.

Following Clemson’s 9-5 win over Maryland Monday night, LeCroy said that for him exam week was extremely tiring, but very productive.

“Obviously, during exam week is a good time to go recruiting because we don’t have any games and obviously practices are a little bit limited because guys have to study and get ready for exams,” LeCroy told TigerNet. “I took off on a four-day adventure. It was close to 1800 miles and 26 hours in the car- four days in four different states, but very productive. I saw some future guys and saw a couple of guys that have signed with us. It was a very, very productive trip.”

LeCroy made stops in North Carolina, the Low Country of South Carolina, Georgia, and the mid-Florida and Florida panhandle region, but he said the trip wasn’t too difficult because of the frequent stops.

“It takes a little bit. The good thing about that trip is that it wasn’t one shot a time,” LeCroy said. “It was five hours and stop, four hours and stop, five hours and stop and then another five hours. It was broken up into pieces. It’s just one of those things that you have to do. I’m very fortunate to have a great job and be able to work hard for this program.”

LeCroy and the Clemson coaching staff are trying to build on the 2012 class of 14 that ranked fifth in the nation and addressed pitching and infield needs, limiting the number of spots remaining on the roster for 2013.

“We are at nine and depending on the draft we might add a couple of JUCO transfers late. It depends how it falls,” he said. “We will probably end up at 10, maybe 11. We had a big class last year so you have to watch the numbers and be at that 35-man roster.”

Scholarships to fund that 35-man roster are extremely limited at Clemson, making LeCroy’s job all the more difficult.

Of Clemson’s 14 signees in 2012, nine were from out of state, and LeCroy has the daunting task of convincing young men to turn down money from professional baseball and pay more than $20,000 per year to play baseball and attend school.

“You have 11.7 scholarships for 35 guys,” he said. “The other thing, too, is that we are trying to convince kids that we will give them a 50-percent scholarship out of state and it’s $41,000 a year to go to school. They are paying over $20,000 a year on a 50-percent scholarship to go to school here. Plus we are trying to talk them out of signing for big money and entering the draft. It’s a tough job, but we kind of identify the players who are good players and want to go to school, who have good families and value getting an education. We’ve done a good job of that lately.”

LeCroy and the Tigers want to build consecutive strong recruiting classes, but surviving the 2013 MLB Draft may prove to be difficult as the Tigers have verbal commits from outfielder Austin Meadows Loganville (GA) Grayson- the No. 2 player in the ESPN 60- and catcher Chris Okey Mt. Dora (FL) Eustis who ESPN ranks at No. 9.

“Any lifeblood of the program is your players. They say good players make good coaches and great players make great coaches,” LeCroy said. “Players win games. This freshmen class and the couple of JUCO guys that we brought with them have given us a great shot in the arm for what we’re doing. If you’re able to survive the draft and put two or three classes back to back, you can get to where you are able to sustain the level you want to be at. We did that with this past class, and we are doing it with this class. This class is smaller because we don’t need the numbers, but if we can hold on to the ones we’ve got and survive the draft or beat the draft, we have the chance to have a really, really special class.”

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