Q and A with SIU-Edwardsville Commit Jackson Layton

By Sean McCann
Prep Baseball Report Kansas

Fresh off a spring where he hit .515 and helped Blue Valley West to an 18-5 record and trip to the 6A state tournament, first-baseman/outfielder Jackson Layton recently committed to play baseball at Division I Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.  We had an opportunity to visit with Layton about his spring and summer.

PBR:  Why did you choose Southern Illinois-Edwardsville?

Layton:  I chose SIU-E because it was exactly what I wanted in a college.  It's a great school, great coaches, great town and I felt at home there. 

PBR:  Give us a brief timeline in terms of the recruiting process with the SIU-E coaching staff.  When did they first contact you?  Where did they see you play?  Did you take a campus visit?

Layton:  I first started talking to the SIU-E coaches at the start of my summer in 2014. They saw me play in the Cincinnati Flames Tournament of Champions in Ohio.  We kept emailing back and forth and come July 1st they called me.  They saw me play again in the World Wood Bat 17U national championship in Atlanta and the following week after the tournament ended I took a visit to Edwardsville. 

PBR: What role does the coaching staff expect you to play during your first year on campus?

Layton:  They expect me to come in and compete and work hard for a spot in the starting line-up.  The coaches know and I know that nothing is going to be handed to me and that I have to work every day to get to where I want to be.  Not only do they want me to be a great athlete and player but a student first.  They're big on school before baseball and getting your degree which is another reason I chose them. 

PBR:  What things do you need to improve on before getting to SIU-E?

Layton:  First things I need to improve on are getting faster and stronger and gaining more arm strength.  Not only that but I need to continue to work on my swing, fielding and everything in all. 

PBR:  Who has had the biggest impact on you as a baseball player and why?

Layton:  I would say that my dad had the biggest impact on me as a baseball player because he has always been there for me to help me, guide me and just talk baseball when I wanted. He's always giving me advice on what I'm doing right or wrong and what I need to improve on and I think he will continue to do that even when I'm off at college. 

PBR:  What were the highlights of your spring season as a team and individually? 

Layton:  I had an amazing spring season with my team and it was a season I won't forget.  My favorite parts were winning regionals and going to state.  Even though we lost in the first round of state I thought we had a great year and I had a blast.  My favorite individual part was when we played Blue Valley North in a double header and I just went off - I went 5-for-5 in both games and threw someone out from right field. 

PBR:  Tell us about your experience with the Mac-N-Seitz organization and things they have helped you with in your development.

Layton:  I played with Mac-N-Seitz since I was eight years old and have had some unbelievable years with them.  My coaches Dave Felix and Corey Williams helped me progress so much as a player and a young man.  Mac-N-Seitz is a quality organization with great facilities and great instructors. Specifically Chad Wilfawn and Chie Gunnar who have helped me tremendously with my swing and mental part of the game.  

PBR:  Who are the three toughest Kansas high school pitchers you have faced?

Layton:  The three toughest pitchers i have faced in Kansas are Ryan Cyr (’15 Blue Valley), Riley Pint (’16 St. Thomas Aquinas) and Brandon Bell (’14 Lawrence).

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