Prep Baseball Report

NC State-Bound Jolly Thrilled To Be Playing In The South

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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NC State-Bound Jolly Thrilled To Be Playing In The South

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Grant Jolly RHP / SS / Wapakoneta, OH / 2025

WAPAKONETA - Visits were lined up to a number of colleges. But before they took place, Grant Jolly found his future home at North Carolina State.

“They first saw me at the Future Games and I pitched really well there,” noted the Wapakoneta High School junior, whose fastball hit 90 at the PBR event in Georgia at the end of July. “They texted me at the deadline (Aug. 1) and we built a good relationship after that. They ended up inviting me on a visit (the weekend of Sept. 9-10) and that’s where they offered me a scholarship.”

The sixth-rated 2025 right-handed pitcher in Ohio was thrilled with what he saw while at the Atlantic Coast Conference university in Raleigh, N.C.

“I liked how good the people and the coaches were,” Jolly reflected. “I also liked how nice the facilities were, and they’re going to be adding a $15 million improvement by the time I get there.”

The idea of playing in the south at a school that is part of the ACC only added to the intrigue.

“That really means a lot,” Jolly explained. “I’ve always wanted to play in the south where it’s warmer. It’s also better baseball, in my opinion. It’s one of the top two conferences in the country.”

That was enough for the 17-year-old to make a college decision before taking any of the other college trips.

“I had visits lined up but after North Carolina State I knew where I wanted to be,” pointed out the 6-0 165-pounder.

The idea of playing at the next level is a lifelong dream.

“I always knew college baseball was something I wanted to do,” Jolly related. “I always wanted to play in a great conference, so once I was there and saw it I knew where I wanted to go.”

NC State was impressed with what the 14th-ranked junior in Ohio had to offer.

“They like how much of an athlete I am on the mound, how I can run and throw,” Jolly said. “They like how easily I can adapt to things and they feel that it will make it easy for me to develop.”

Ironically, it was not long ago that Jolly considered his future in the game at shortstop.

“Until summer I had not planned on becoming a pitcher,” the hard-throwing right-hander admitted. “I wasn’t dedicated to pitching. But I went to a pitching coach last fall and that helped a lot. I’ve learned how to mix up my pitches.

“When I started to become more of an actual pitcher I fell in love with it. especially with how hard it is,” Jolly continued. “I think being a shortstop helped me out because I became a better athlete doing that which helps me as a pitcher.”

In addition to pitching coach Brian Garman, Jolly pointed to one major influence in his journey to play baseball after high school.

“My father is why I am who I am,” Jolly said in reference to his dad Vince. “He’s helped me over the years taking me to places and developing me as a pitcher with my mechanics and strength.”

The Future Games also proved vital in finding a place to play beyond his days in Wapakoneta.

“My recruiting process really didn’t start until Aug. 1,” Jolly related. “The Future Games is what really kick-started my recruitment. A ton of schools saw me and talked and texted with me come Aug. 1. I hadn’t really heard from anyone much before.”

Jolly points to a number of areas that will make his future on the mound even brighter.

“I definitely think gaining strength and weight will really help,” Jolly noted. “Developing another offspeed pitch will also help, so I’ll have four instead of just three.”

Jolly, who currently has a repertoire of a fastball, slider and change, plans to work on a 12-6 curve which will only add to what he can provide the program at NC State.

“I definitely think I can bring them some energy,” Jolly said. “I’m a big competitor and I’ll also bring that along with an athlete on the mound instead of just a big workhorse. Off the field I’ll be a leader, helping out other people.”

To be committed so quickly once the Aug. 1 deadline was reached brings a bit of relief according to Jolly.

“It’s a weird feeling not having to worry about it any more,” Jolly admitted. “It’s really different. But I’m super excited to go there and not have to worry about making the right decision.”

Jolly, who carries a 3.7 GPA at Wapak and plans to major in business at NC State, has high expectations when it comes to life after high school.

“I’m looking forward to developing a lot of relationships with all the people on the team,” Jolly concluded. “I want to get to know them.

“It’s going to be great being in the south,” Jolly added. “The campus is amazing, and it’s going to be great being there.”

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