Alumni Feature Series - Justin Wilson

Alumni Feature Series - Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson, who graduated from Oakland High School in 2015, was the 15th ranked prospect in Tennessee coming out of high school.  Wilson signed with the Volunteer State Community College Pioneers in 2015 as a catcher but having some experience as a pitcher in high school, it didn't take long for Wilson to crack the Pioneers starting rotation.  "I was lucky enough to be able to do both, pitch and catch, at Vol State.  Being a catcher helped me develop a high IQ for the game so when I started to get on the mound, I was able to adapt well," said Wilson.  Going 3-0 as a junior in high school with a 1.91 earned-run average (ERA), Wilson pitched just 11 and 1/3 innings as a senior going 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA.  The majority of Wilson's production in high school came behind the plate where he had a .378 batting average his junior year and a .306 batting average as a senior.  In his freshmen year at Vol State, Wilson developed as a pitcher where he was recorded throwing in the mid-90s.  Wilson signed with Vanderbilt University in 2016 and enrolled in August where he's expected to play both pitcher and catcher.  Wilson missed his sophomore season at Vol State (2016-17) with Tommy John surgery and is still in the process of recovering and is expected to be ready for the Commodores upcoming season.  "Tommy John was a long process that can be hard on you mentally.  It was tough having to watch from the sidelines but I was blessed with great coaches that helped me through it," said Wilson.  Wilson originally signed with Lipscomb University but never enrolled and instead took the junior college route which he believes really helped him as a player.  "Junior college helped me get experience at the college level before transferring to a higher level.  I am extremely happy with my decision to go to Vol State.  I was able to attend Vol State with some players that I grew up with.  Zach Ehrhart and CJ Brown helped the process feel comfortable and we had a strong connection on the field," said Wilson.  Entering his first season at Vanderbilt, Wilson has had to make several adjustments to prepare himself to play at the Division 1 level, one being the speed of the game.  "The speed of the game at the D1 level is unreal.  The game moves a lot faster than it did at junior college.  At times, you have to remind yourself to slow down and relax," said Wilson.  Off the field, some of Wilson's hobbies include working on cars and watching sports.  His favorite player is Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman.  "My favorite athlete right now is Marcus Stroman.  The confidence and swagger he has is fun to watch," said Wilson.  For any players at Vol State with goals to play at a Division 1 school, Wilson said to "just buy into the process that Coach Hunt has going on.  Buying in will not only help you but your teammates also.  It will make you a better player and college coaches will notice this."