Former UGA & Seattle Mariners Baseball Player, Keegan McGovern, Talks why Georgia

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. 

  • HEIGHT 6-2
  • WEIGHT 220
  • CLASS Senior
  • B/T L/R
  • HOMETOWN Willacoochee, Ga.

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 And that year, I tore my ACL and didn’t get to play in front of Coach Stricklin, and if he wanted to, he could have withdrawn my scholarship.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.

* Originally published on June 19, 2018, by Ben Barron

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