Q&A with Texas Tech Commit SS JD Murders (Bolivar, 2016)

Shon Plack
Missouri Scouting Director

SS JD Murders (Bolivar, 2016) recently verbally committed to Texas Tech.  He is only the second player in the 2016 class in Missouri to chose his school. Murders, a 6-foot-1 170-pound left-handed hitting shortstop, has been a starter on the varsity team at Bolivar since his freshman year.  He led the Liberators to a 13-11 record a season ago, and has his sights set on a district championship in 2015.  

Murders was a player to watch at PBR's Top Prospects Games in June. There he showed advanced actions on the infield with easy footwork and a quick release.  The lefty hitter shows the ability to hit the ball to all fields with power to his pull gap, with a 74 mph exit velo.  During the summer, Murders played for the Midwest Nationals and is currently a member of the Royals Elite Scout team. 

We had a chance to catch up with Murders to talk about how he chose Texas Tech. 

PBR: What were the expectations of the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Murders: The recruiting process went as expected. Coaches recruit kids in many different ways. Whether it's the schools winning history, what the campus has in the way of other opportunities such as fun things, or even your desired major, making the process very difficult.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Murders: Yes of course, distance has its pro's and con's. Some kids prefer to go away from home. Others prefer to stay closer to home. But all in all its where you fall in love with or want to go. Distance is not something to stress over but is definitely a topic to discuss.
PBR: Where did Texas Tech first see you play? How did your relationship develop with them?

Murders: Texas Tech first seen me play at our National Premier World Series in Lubbock Texas. They talked to my family and I after one of my world series games and showed us around the campus and made me an offer to go there and play baseball. The relationship started from the time I walked into Coach Tadlocks office until the time I made the decision to go there. There were phone calls and text back and forth, and written letters all constructing a relationship. Relationships are very important.
PBR: Who is the best player you have faced from your state and why?

Murders: This was a hard decision to make being that I have played against many of the best players from my state. But a few of the best I'd have to say are Monnet Cubs, Cameron Witt. Cameron is an outfield stud throwing, and hitting left handed. Cameron is also a fast runner. But what sticks out most about cameron is his ability to hit. Another player that comes to mind is Logan Rogersville and future Arkansas Razorback, Jacob Shlesener. Jacob is a tall, strong, left handed pitcher that I know can run it up to 90+ mph. I've played on his summer team with the Midwest Nationals. He's just an all around great dude to be around
PBR: What were you looking for in a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Murders: What I was looking for in a college program was many things. Academic majors, FCA opportunities, Bible study opportunities, a baseball tradition, and great coaches I can build a relationship with such as the ones at Texas Tech. There are a lot of factors that play into choosing a school.
PBR: What advice would you give young players striving to get where you are?

Murders: Advice I would give would be a couple things. Number one being your faith. Builiding a strong relationship with Jesus Christ can take you a long way. Number two being your grades. Have a great work ethic in the classroom. And lastly being "The Grind" I know sports. baseball in particular is an everyday grind. Even the smallest things that no one sees matter in shaping you as a person and into the best player you can be.
PBR: What do you do in the off season to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?

Murders: Some things you could do to maintain and even enhance your baseball body, and mind is to hit the weight room, study the game, and get in the cages and or on the mound as frequently as possible. As a hitter/position player it is important that you hone in on skills that are at the max and skills that need to be worked on. whether its forming a swing that dominates not only in BP but stays consistent when it comes clutch time to get that walk off in the game.
PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Murders: My most memorable moment as a baseball player on the field would have to be my very first hit on the varsity team as a freshman being a home run. One of the best feelings out there.
PBR: What do you like most about Texas Tech? What other key factors play into your decision?

Murders: What I like most about Texas Tech is definitely the relationship I built with the entire coaching staff. There were lots of factors that led to the decision though. Such as there workout facilities and there success not only in baseball but in there other sports. Another factor that played into the decision was there Academic Requirements.
PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Murders: Some of the other schools on my list were Wichita State, Arkansas, Missouri, K-State, and Missouri State. All great programs.
PBR: When did the recruiting process really heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Murders: The recruiting process really started to heat up for me my sophomore year on into my junior year. No one game or event really triggered it, but with a lot of hard work, and multiple good events happening because of the work you put in. And for me, a good word from the Midwest Nationals, things happen very quickly.
PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals? Name some players that will play a key role for Bolivar HS in 2015.

Murders: Last season we had a  young team. Meaning that we will have quite a few good players returning. My expectations for this year are nothing short of competing for a conference title, and taking the district trophy. With hopes for more past districts, Senior Clay Long, left handed pitcher will play a key role. Sophomore Connor Sechlar, a hard right handed throwing outfield/infielder/pitcher will play a key role. Juniors Camden Burns and John Cates will both play a key role on the mound and in the field. And catcher Gavin Morris will play a big role behind the dish. If we play like we can, we should be a fun team to watch.
PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable moment with them?

Murders: In the summer I play with the Midwest Nationals baseball Academy. My most memorable moment(s) has to be Coach Briggs and Coach Bingham constantly ripping me about this ans that. Even though its for the best. And this past Premier World Series with my 16u team under coach Gary Highfill and coach Ron Evans. We made a great run all week until that next Saturday night game, losing a heart-breaker in the game right before the last championship bracket.

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