Two-Way Opportunity At Kent State Excites Varner

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Two-Way Opportunity At Kent State Excites Varner

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Jaden Varner LHP / OF / Waynedale, OH / 2021

WOOSTER - The recruiting process which heated up in the summer and has come to an end for Jaden Varner.

The opportunity to be a two-way player at Kent State was too much to pass up for the Waynedale junior.

“Coach (Justin) McDowell said I need to get seen more,” reflected Varner, referring to his head coach in high school. “He said I have the stuff and the athletic ability, I just needed to be seen. He recommended I go to a PBR showcase. That’s when I start getting recruited. I had a good day and my dad said colleges will start coming.”

One was Kent State.

“A couple of days after the showcase they said they wanted me,” noted Varner, who was also recruited by Ohio U, Bowling Green and Toledo. “They said they were going to watch me more in the summer.

“I went on a visit in December and showed me around. They’ve got really nice facilities. I loved the coaching staff and I liked how it’s a baseball school. It’s a good chance to pursue my dream of being a major league player.”

An offer as a two-way helped seal the deal.

“They like how I can hit and have a nice swing,” the 5-10 175-pound left-handed hitting outfielder said. “As for pitching, they like my velo and my mechanics. They like that my slider is loose and the spin rate is at major-league level.”

An improved game played a part in the looks received by the 58th-ranked 2021 in Ohio.

“I lift every day,” Varner explained. “I have a trainer and pitching coach that know what they’re doing. They help me with my mechanics. I do workouts like a Division I college. They’re based off of what Vanderbilt does.

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