Skip Fite likes to recruit proven winners, as any college coach would.
The Augusta State University baseball coach had recruited Greenbrier High School players in the past. So when former Wolfpack catcher Adam King accepted Fite's offer to play for the Jaguars, the coach knew what kind of player he was getting.
"The big thing is the mentality," Fite said. "Winning doesn't come easy. You have to work to win. Generally, players we've gotten from Greenbrier have good work habits."
King was a designated hitter his junior year when the Wolfpack won a second consecutive Class AAAA state title. As a senior, he played catcher.
King said the solid work habits he picked up were passed down from upperclassmen.
"It helps me watching people grow up in front of me," King said. "And I can go out and do what they did."
It helped him earn a spot on a college roster.
King said he wasn't even thinking about college ball after Augusta State coaches worked him out in the fall of 2007. By the end of his senior season, King was ready to look at his options.
USC Aiken expressed interest and told King he could be a preferred walk-on. Augusta State held two advantages -- offering King scholarship money and being located closer to his home so that family can more easily see him play.
Fite said King would compete for the DH spot his first year and also could be in the mix at catcher, although the Jaguars return upperclassmen at the position. Fite also said he would like to try King at third base.
King doesn't care where he ends up. He says he can play anywhere.
"I'm just trying to go to college and play," King said. "If I have to DH my first year, that'd be fine."
But catcher has been King's fit to this point in his career. He grew up playing the position and blossomed under Greenbrier coach Rodney Holder, a former catcher.
"He worked with me a lot," King said. "I think that's why I'm playing in college."
King has played travel ball this summer on a team coached by a Jaguars assistant. He said earning a spot at catcher would hinge on him improving his mechanics and pop time -- the time it takes to get the ball out of the glove and to the infielder at second.
But Fite seems more enamored with King's power than his defense, citing a home run he watched during the Wolfpack's playoff series with Jones County. King batted more than .400 last season with the Wolfpack, with five home runs and 29 RBI.
"I think he's going to be a very good college player," Fite said. "He has a quick bat and quality power."
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