Magnolia Heights and BPA 2021 catcher Eli Selby shares his recruiting process, as the Mississippi native gets ready to sign with Niagara of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Over the years, Selby has been a leader on and off the diamond, the ultimate teammate, and is ready to help the Purple Eagles become a northeast power.
In five words, describe what it feels like to say Eli Selby, Niagara-commit.
Extremely excited, honored, and overjoyed
Now, in more than five words, describe the moment or thoughts behind determining Niagara was the right fit for you.
The conversations I had with Coach Mac (McCoy) and Coach Spatty (Spatafora) were a huge factor in the recruiting process. There was a certain comfortability I had talking to those guys with their interest in myself as a player. The coaches are very intelligent, personable, and knowledgeable about the game of baseball and that really made my decision fairly easy. The program is on the upswing (predicted MAAC champions this year) and they are bringing in very good recruiting classes. It’s a great academic school with great facilities and honestly the #1 thing that sold me on the program was its incorporation of mental exercises into the practice curriculum. Coach McCoy has a master’s in sports psychology so NU does a lot of innovative stuff in regards to the mental side of the game which is extremely important in my opinion.
Do you recall the first time Coach McCoy and staff indicated their interest in you?
Yes, actually we got connected through Twitter. I was upset because the NCAA had just extended the dead period for recruits and I was scrolling through Twitter and I saw that Coach Mac had put a tweet out that was something along the lines of telling recruits to keep their heads up and to send emails to coaches because you never know what programs are interested in. I sent them an email and we got connected in the next couple days over the phone. I think they offered me a couple days after my initial email.
Looking back, what do you think ultimately sold Coach McCoy on you being a good fit for the program?
I think that my combination of academic and athletic ability made me a good fit at Niagara U.
From the deep south to the border of Canada, you’re set to sign with a program that is all the way across the country. Did location play a part in in your college search?
Yes. I knew from a young age that I wanted to go off for college, especially in the Northeast, so when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it. My dad has always had ties to the Northeast, so I have visited up there a lot and absolutely love the region
How has playing with BPA, and the coast-to-coast travel the program takes on, helped in providing a sense of comfort in being as far away from home as you will be?
Playing with BPA has instilled a sense of adaptability to my surroundings while playing baseball. Playing all over the country for the past couple years has really gotten me used to being on the road and being away from home for weeks at a time, so yes, I think that it has helped me get ready to be away from home in college and any summer league seasons I play in the future.
Once you did have your commitment in the bag, what was your mindset for the rest of the summer season?
It was fun to be able to commit and have the pressure lifted off my back. I finally got to enjoy baseball because I got to play it for the love of the game instead of playing it to be recruited.
A month into your senior year, what aspect of your game do you want to improve on?
Everything. I want to be as dynamic as a player as I can. The goal now is to be able to make a legitimate contribution as soon as I step on campus.
What advice would you give a teammate getting ready to go through the recruiting process?
Be patient and don’t pursue things that aren’t there. When you find that school that is a perfect fit, you will know. They will be a perfect fit for you and you will be a perfect fit for them.
If you had 15 seconds to sell me on Niagara, what are you telling me?
Great coaches, a great school, and a program that is going to be making some huge noise in Division 1 in the near future.