Northwest Mississippi Community College sophomore outfielder Brayland Skinner will get his chance to shine in the SEC next season as the Lake Cormorant native has maintained his commitment to Mississippi State baseball.
"He has an absolute unmatched work ethic," Northwest head baseball coach Mark Carson said, on Skinner. "He just loves to compete and we while we will miss him here, we're excited that he has the opportunity to compete at Mississippi State and at the SEC level."
Skinner committed to the Bulldogs in March and will join former Northwest teammates Tanner Leggett and Parker Stinnett in Starkville.
In two seasons with Northwest, Skinner compiled a .366 career batting average with 64 hits, seven doubles, two triples, three home runs and 24 RBIs. He also stole 28 bases in 32 career attempts and succeeded on all 12 of his attempts in a shortened 2020 campaign.
Together with Hammer Franks and former teammate Hayden Leatherwood (Ole Miss), Skinner was part of one of the best outfield units in the MACJC in 2019, fielding .974 from his spot in center field. Combined with his efforts at the plate, Skinner garnered first team All-MACJC honors.
In 15 games during the 2020 season, Skinner fielded a perfect 1.000 percentage with 10 putouts and two assists in 12 total chances, while also batting .353 with 12 RBIs.
"Northwest will always mean a lot to me," Skinner said. "The best thing about Northwest was being able to build a bond and become brothers with guys you didn't know before. It was a place that taught me how to be strong through the toughest times. I will miss being on the field with my boys and also playing in front of everyone that supported me."
Skinner is the sixth member of the 2020 Northwest baseball team to sign or commit to the four-year level, joining Stinnett at MSU and Dalton Fowler (Oklahoma), Trent Bunting (UAM), Landon Zizmann (Delta State) and Jackson Smith (Mississippi College).
He is also the fifth Ranger over the last two seasons to join the SEC ranks and is the 21st player since 2016 to join a Division I program.
Mississippi State fielded a 12-4 overall record in 2020 before the season was suspended due to the effects of COVID-19. The Bulldogs have made the College World Series 11 times in program history, including back-to-back appearances in 2018 and 2019.