Playing Baseball In Mobile AL

DAPHNE, Ala. -- Dyersburg State Community College (Tenn.) made an impressive official visit on Daphne resident Brooks Ellis that the former Mobile, Alabama high school player from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School decided to stop taking college visits and sign his letter of intent to play for the Eagles on the spot.

The 6-1, 191lb Ellis, who plays middle infield and third base, had visited perennial power and nationally ranked junior college programs Chipola College, Northwest Florida State College, Prince George’s (Maryland) Community College, and Dyersburg State Community College, before finally choosing the Eagles of Dyersburg State over D-1 Coppin State (Maryland). He was also offered by Pensacola State College as well as Lawson State Community College.  He also considered local programs from the Mobile, AL area in Bishop State Community College as well as Coastal Alabama Community College.

“My hitting instructor, Lance Johnson really encouraged me to take the Juco route,” Ellis said. “Because that’s what would be best for getting more playing time early on.”

Johnson, the 12-year Major League Baseball veteran and All-Star who played college baseball at the University of South Alabama, has been working with Ellis for the past three years.  Johnson still lives in Mobile.

Dyersburg State finished the 2017 season with a staggering 48-9 overall record and a trip to the Alpine Bank JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado, and finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the NJCAA national rankings. Routinely, Dyersburg State recruits the majority of their team from players who are currently on SEC and other D-1 rosters. Ellis was one of only three in-coming high school freshmen to make the squad and the only player from Alabama on the team.

Dyersburg State got into the mix when a University of West Virginia assistant coach contacted Dyersburg State head coach, Robert White about Ellis. It was a simple text by Coach White to Ellis while in route to Lake Point, Ga. for the PG WWBA 18u National Championships that got Ellis’ attention to set up an official visit.

“I was really impressed with Coach White and the whole environment, the atmosphere there,” Ellis said. “And when one of the best coaches and programs in the nation offered me a spot, I didn’t have to think long. And that was kind of a relief, too.”

Earlier this summer, after a successful tournament at the Perfect Game WWBA 18u National Championship that culminated with a perfect night at the plate, Ellis lined a 91-mph pitch from California Angels fifth round pick (T.R. Miller’s Joseph Booker) into left field to help his Triton Rays Prime 18u team to a 1-0 win over the East Coast Sox Select team.

Ellis, a 2017 Under Armour All-America Team nominee, has also played for the East Cobb Astros 17u, and the East Cobb Colt 45’s 18u teams over the past three years.  He also played for the Alabama Aces, a local travel ball team from the Mobile, Alabama area.

“I definitely want to thank all my coaches and Lance who has helped me so much,” Ellis added. “Also, Rodney Cox who was my recruiter. And most of all, God and my family. My parents (Karen and Don) especially, for everything and all they have done for me.”

Now Ellis is looking for a new beginning, on a team where finding talent is no problem.  All those years with his dad throwing him late night batting practice, taking fungoes at Loxley Park, and those six hour trips to Emerson, Georgia for the past three years, have finally come to fruition, and a college baseball scholarship.

From Lott Park in Daphne, Alabama to Dyersburg, Tenn., the journey has been sometimes filled with ups and downs but so far, has been worth it. The Eagles’ first practice is set for Aug. 24