Keegan McGovern was a left fielder for the University of Georgia baseball team. Named an All-SEC first-team selection, McGovern has led the way for UGA baseball’s resurgence. With a record of 37-17, the number #13 ranked UGA Bulldogs are looking to make some noise in the SEC Tournament behind their slugging outfielder.
McGovern was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the ninth round of the 2018 Major League Baseball.
Keegan sat down with LRT Sports to talk about UGA baseball and to give advice to student-athletes who are looking to play at the college level.
UGA Career (2015-18):
Appeared in 212 games with 212 starts (206 in left field, six at first base) and batted .287 with 47 doubles, two triples, 29 home runs and 123 RBI
*A .993 fielding percentage (414 putouts, 18 assists, 3 errors)
*Finished career ranked in top 10 of numerous school records: 3rd in Walks (134), 8th in Games Played (219) and 8th in Runs Scored (160)
LRT Sports: Why did you choose UGA over the other school(s) recruiting you? What stood out about them?
I have always wanted to play for Georgia. I have always been a huge Georgia fan, and when they offered, it was a no-brainer. I knew this was where I wanted to be.
LRT Sports: When did you start playing baseball and realize that this is something you were pretty good at and could see a future in?
I started playing when I was 4 or 5. And when I was 8 or 9, I noticed that I might have a future in this game. I guess whenever travel ball started, which was when I was 9, I learned I could compete pretty well and had a knack for the game.
LRT Sports: You have dealt with your fair share of injuries in the past, especially in high school. Can you speak on those injuries and your recruitment? Did it have any effect on your recruitment?
During my junior year of high school, the coach at Georgia got fired, and Coach Stricklin came in. And that year, I tore my ACL and didn’t get to play in front of Coach Stricklin, and if he wanted to, he could have withdrawn my scholarship. But he honored it without seeing me play in high school, which was a blessing for sure.
LRT Sports: It seems that you were a good football player during high school. Why baseball over football? Were any schools considering offering you a dual scholarship, and would you have attempted both sports?
I got a couple of offers for football from two of the bigger schools, Clemson and Mississippi State. But I just had a couple of injuries playing football, and that steered me away from football at the next level. Clemson would have offered me a dual scholarship if I said yes, but I knew that football would be out of the question when the injuries happened.
LRT Sports: Did you have any “Recruiting Horror Stories” associated with your recruitment or any parts that you didn’t enjoy?
Not at all. I loved every minute of the recruiting process. Every trip and tour I got to take was awesome, and I heard nothing but great things about UGA.
LRT Sports: What do you feel is the most important thing for a recruit to know about each school before committing?
That you have a relationship with the coaches and that you feel at home about the college. If I didn’t love every part of UGA, I might not have come. But I would say make sure you love every aspect of the college before making a decision.
LRT Sports: You kind of answered my next question, but, to you, what was the most important factor in deciding where you ended up committing to?
Yeah, I would just say my relationship with the coaches was the most important and then feeling at home with the campus.
LRT Sports: You were named an SEC Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year. During high school and into college, how did you find the necessary balance between being a student and being an athlete?
You have to prioritize and manage your time well. College has many distractions, but you have to realize what’s important and make sure you take care of business in the classroom so you can play on the field.
LRT Sports: Do you have any advice for baseball players trying to take their game to the next level from high school to college?
One thing I would say is to be open to coaching and learn how to make adjustments. This game is hard, and it gets harder with every level you go to, so learn how to adjust and make changes to help put yourself in a better position to be successful.
LRT Sports: Lastly, do you have any advice for baseball players going through the college recruitment process that you wish you had known when you were going through it?
I would say take it all in and enjoy every moment. The recruitment and college go by quickly, so enjoy every moment and don’t take anything for granted.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
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The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.