Infielders are often known for their defense plays and not their batting averages. Mercer University’s R.J. Yeager is an exception. The sophomore from Panama City led the Bears in assists and had a .995 fielding percentage while batting .324, the third best average on the team over his freshman season. He did all of this while maintaining a 3.8 grade point average in the classroom. Needless to say, we’re honored to feature R.J. as our Press Sports Athlete of the Week.
You could say baseball is in R.J.’s blood. His father was drafted by the Boston Red Sox and played baseball at Gulf State College. As an infielder at Mosley High School, R.J. wasn’t getting many looks from recruiters his freshman and sophomore seasons.
“My junior year, I got bigger and filled out more,” R.J. said. “This led to many schools showing interest in me. Over the summer of my junior year playing for Team Elite, Mercer watched me and offered me a scholarship. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
His favorite sports memory is of a game when he played short and his brother played second base in high school. As the shortstop for Mercer baseball, R.J. started all 60 games his freshman year. He was named a 2018 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American, a 2018 NCBWA Freshman All-American and was added to the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List.
R.J. attributes his freshman year success to workouts, his father and his coaches. He advises other athletes to work harder than everyone else.
“You have to remember that there is always somebody out there that is better than you, so you have to work harder,” R.J. said. “There may be people with more talent, but (you have) no excuse for someone to outwork you.”
Outside of baseball, R.J. Yeager enjoys hunting, fishing, playing Fortnite with friends and strumming his ukulele (bet you didn’t see that coming).
His ultimate goal is to get drafted to and make it to the MLB. With his abilities and work ethic, we believe in him to reach that goal.
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We’re honored to feature Kobe Wilson of Parkview High School football as our Press Sports Athlete of the Week. Kobe is a speedy linebacker who is on the verge of achieving his goal of playing college football.
Although Kobe Wilson has not yet declared a commitment, he is currently fielding offers from Coastal Carolina and Troy University. Wherever he ends up, one thing is certain: His high level of play, work ethic and enviable skill set will go wherever he chooses to go. Wilson is one of the most explosive and exciting defensive players in Georgia high school football and an excellent student as well.
Currently a junior, Kobe is set to graduate in 2020. He has already racked up a very impressive resume of athletic feats. One of his most memorable showings was in a game against Brookwood where he recorded 12 tackles and 3 sacks. So far, his own personal favorite moment came in a game against Norcross during his sophomore year. In that game, Wilson got his first interception of his high school career.
As a veteran leader on the Parkview High School football team, Kobe leads with words and his play. His statistics speak for themselves. Although a modest and gentlemanly figure off the field, it’s hard to disagree with Kobe when he speaks of his chief strengths thusly: “My speed as a linebacker makes me faster than most linebackers and my physicality as well.”
Kobe’s success as a football player is quite ironic. Wilson, who wears #6, didn’t always enjoy football. He told us, “Growing up playing football…I never really enjoyed it because my mom forced me to play to lose some weight. But now that I’ve gotten better, I enjoy making plays.”
Wilson isn’t all flash and blinding speed, however. He has also achieved an impressive 3.4 GPA and has put himself in position to get the Hope Scholarship. Math is Kobe’s favorite school subject. He enjoys listening to J. Cole and playing Madden in his downtime. LeBron James is his favorite athlete and his favorite hobby is working out at the gym (which is great for his sports goals).
Kobe Wilson is more than an athlete to watch out for. He is a good person whose current mission is to simply get his mom out of the hood. We support him.
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If you have been following high school football in Georgia in the past few years, you’ve heard a lot of good things about Paul Tchio aka Paul Taco. Paul, whose parents came to the United States from Cameroon, is a star OL for Milton High School. These are exciting times for Paul as he’s about to embark on yet another exciting life passage.
Mr. Tchio has recently committed to join the football program at Clemson. Paul considered offers from Georgia and Tennessee, but Clemson was the best fit for him. Paul Tchio made an excellent name for himself as a highly rated OL and DL for the Milton High School football team that won the 2018 Georgia 7A State Championship against Colquitt County. In two of his many impressive showings in high school, he racked up 19 pancakes against North Forsyth as well as 2 sacks and 2 QB hurries against Mill Creek.
His ability to play all five positions on the O-Line as well as D-Line allowed Paul to distinguish himself as an unusually versatile member of the Milton football team. This experience will serve him well at Clemson.
Now that Paul Tchio has declared his commitment to Clemson football, the college sports world is excited to see how he can help the 2019 National Champs continue their success as a top notch football program. Not only is he an impressive athlete (who loves to play 1-on-1 basketball as well), PaulTchio succeeds in the classroom. His commendable academic record includes a 3.0 GPA with a love for mathematics. He enjoys playing Madden, watching any Fast & Furious movies and listening to music in his free time — preferably rap artists like NBA Youngboy and many others.
Going into his senior season as a Milton Eagle, Mr. Taco is working hard to cement his legacy as the first captain to lead his team to the Mercedes Benz Dome in back-to-back seasons. Clemson fans should be excited to have a top class of 2020 O-line recruit with aspirations to play in the NFL on the way. In his own words, Paul Tchio’s “biggest goal is to make an impact at Clemson early!”
Download Press Sports on the App Store and on Google Play. Follow Paul on the Press Sports App @_paultaco.
If you have been paying attention to recent developments in college baseball, you have likely heard about a young prospect from East Paulding High School named Jackson Phipps. Jackson is the top ranked high school baseball player in Georgia and currently plays for Danny Pralgo on the 643 17u Cougs. We’re honored to feature Jackson as our Athlete of the Week.
Jackson, who is the 21st ranked player nationally (and the second ranked left handed pitcher) in the class of 2020 according to Perfect Game, announced his commitment to the University of South Carolina baseball program in 2017. Jackson and University of South Carolina baseball are an excellent fit both athletically and culturally. He is thrilled to further his education as well as go forward with his dream of playing Division 1 college baseball.
Jackson Phipps enjoys cheering for his local team, the Atlanta Braves. In fact, his biggest role model in recent years has been Freddie Freeman of the Bravos. Outside of the diamond, he enjoys a relaxing day of fishing and spending time with friends and family.
After considering offers from UGA and Florida, Jackson made his commitment to South Carolina after much consideration. He comes to the University with a very impressive academic record, consisting of a 3.4 GPA with Honors in Literature. His athletic record is equally impressive, having recently racked up a 7-inning, 13-strikeout, no-hitter that left onlookers in awe.
With all of these worthy athletic and academic accomplishments, you may think Jackson is ready to bask in the attention that usually accompanies athletes of exceptional ability. However, this is anything but his style. As Jackson himself has said, “I don’t like having attention drawn to me outside of the diamond.” He enjoys a simple life that’s highlighted by his focus on relationships and hard work.
One thing is certainly clear: Jackson Phipps is a name that fans of college baseball should look out for. But for now, we’re excited to see what Jackson has in store this season for East Paulding High School.
Download Press Sports on the App Store and on Google Play. Follow Jackson on the Press Sports App @Jackson.
The sports social media app that is now known as the Press Sports App has a story that dates back long before its initial public release in September of 2018. Co-founders Conrad Cornell and Drew Williams practically grew up in the crib together. That friendship continued to grow stronger as they became teammates on a number of little league football and baseball teams. Although they never attended the same schools, their connection remained strong, despite moving on to rival high schools and competing against each other in the state championship baseball series their junior year. They spent countless hours training together outside of school, and although Drew never aspired to play at the college level, he did everything in his power to help Conrad keep grinding toward that goal.
Approaching the end of his senior year, Conrad was still undecided on where he would continue his baseball career. He was presented with a couple offers, but none were either affordable or desirable. It became clear that he was not getting the necessary exposure or education on the course of action to find the right college fit. Like everyone else, his dream was to play for a big SEC or ACC school. However, he soon found that unless you are one of the top recruits in the nation, it is extremely difficult to receive those opportunities without a handful of smaller offers or a notable amount of game footage to prove your abilities. Conrad could have used a platform like the Press Sports App that assists athletes with the college baseball recruiting timeline.
When their senior seasons finished, Drew prepared to start his freshman year as a student at the University of Mississippi while Conrad continued to play summer tournaments in hopes of catching the eye of a D1 coach. Sure enough, around the beginning of July of 2014, he played really well in a tournament and Coach Craig Gibson from Mercer University decided to bring him on with a scholarship just a month before school was set to start.
Press Sports App: The Idea
Throughout college, Drew and Conrad collaborated on a number of ideas that either were too expensive to start or would take too much time to really get going as students. Following their junior year, Conrad and Drew were both spending the summer working for companies in Atlanta and attending many Braves games together. They started talking about how cool it would be if MLB players had easy-to-access profiles that showed all their highlights from growing up as multi-sport athletes. As they thought through this more, it became clear that the platform could be for athletes from all levels to share their highlights from the entire range of sports that they play…something very similar to Instagram, but because users would be building a fan base, they could avoid feeling arrogant posting their own plays to create good press for themselves. Conrad and Drew envisioned it as a place where athletes, coaches and fans could all connect around sports highlights.
After returning to college in the fall, Conrad called Drew to talk seriously about making this sports platform they thought up into a reality. Conrad saw great potential in athletes using it as the free college recruiting tool that he never had access to. Drew agreed and realized that although he never had aspirations to play at the next level, he could have shared his highlights with his friends and enjoyed the sports app as a social media platform. Conrad and Drew also discovered that their idea would have been a great memory bank that they could have used to go back and show their kids all their best moments on the field. If a platform like the Press Sports App were around for them when they were growing up, all the memories of playing little league baseball and football together, as well as high school sports against each other, would be there for them to access at their fingertips. With their two different perspectives and Conrad and Drew’s drive to succeed, the Press Sports App was ready to be born.
Press Sports App: The Game Plan
In October of 2018, Conrad and Drew started working on a detailed plan for what the app would be. It took just one meeting to get an angel investor on-board. Soon after, in November, they started searching for companies to develop the app (that was referred to as “GameVault” at the time). When the winter holidays rolled around, they had interviewed six different developers. The pair finally settled on one to come down to Atlanta and make a road map for the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and how long it would take to develop. While both were in their second semester of senior year in college, Conrad and Drew were waking up at 5 a.m. several times a week to meet with their team in Gujarat, India via video chat to collaborate on the creation of the app and test its functionality. The time difference was actually quite helpful, as it allowed the developers in India to make the most of their days, while Conrad and Drew worked to finish school and Conrad played his final season of college baseball.
Following graduation and the end of baseball season, Conrad and Drew moved back to Atlanta to start working full-time on the Press Sports App with the overarching goal of providing a free platform to athletes to showcase their abilities. Currently, they are establishing local relationships in the athletic and Atlanta tech startup communities…focusing on creating a local community of users first, with hopes to expand quickly throughout the southeast and the country.
The world of college sports is about to receive a fresh new talent with a classic pedigree. Marquis Grissom Jr., son of legendary MLB centerfielder Marquis Grissom, recently revealed his commitment to his college of choice.
With great excitement, Marquis Grissom Jr. announced his commitment to play baseball at Georgia Tech on January 11, 2019. His commitment to the Yellow Jackets follows a round of speculation as to his eventual college destination. Several top colleges were in the running, including UNC, Georgia State, Lipscomb, Eastern Kentucky, and Southern University.
In the end, Marquis chose Georgia Tech because, in his own words, “I did not want to go too far from home. I am very into computer science and software development. I love the City of Atlanta and I feel like at Georgia Tech…I can have the best athletic and academic career to improve myself.”
Marquis has committed to pitch for the Jackets, but there’s a possibility that he could be a two-way player at pitcher and outfield.
During his time at Counterpane School in Fayetteville, GA, Marquis racked up an impressive list of statistics and enduring memories. Perhaps his most notable moment as a high school athlete came in 2017 when he threw a no-hitter and hit a 3-run homer in the 3rd inning. This helped his team to a 3-0 victory…leading his team from the batter’s box and the mound.
Off the field, Marquis Grissom Jr. is known as a fun loving guy who has never missed an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. His favorite musicians are Lil’ Wayne and SOJA. He also enjoys bowling, basketball, and golf. Marquis is an academic achiever with a special aptitude for math.
It also should be noted that Marquis currently has the most fans on the Press Sports App. Check out these highlights from the videos that he’s posted on his profile (@marquisjr):
With his impressive pedigree, work ethic, and outstanding playing skills, Marquis is excited to follow in his father’s footsteps as he continues to play the game that he loves at Georgia Tech. His ultimate goal is, “Just to become the best player I can be and play at the highest level.” Marquis’s chances are good and things are looking up for him.