Matthew Railey (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian) has always considered the idea of being able to stay home to advance his baseball career.
A 6-foot-1, 195-pound outfielder, the 2014 star now has his chance. Railey met with the coaches and decided to take full advantage of his scholarship offer and committed to Florida State over the weekend.
"I always wanted to play for my hometown team," said Railey, who frequented Dick Howser Stadium plenty during the last few years. "I loved watching FSU."
Naturally his family and close friends were happy about it, too. Happy for his success and glad that Railey plans on staying in the area for a while.
"They were loving it, they were enjoying it," he said of their reactions. "They were congratulating me, but they were reminding me that I still have to work hard to keep on getting better."
And some of his friends on the diamond happen to be heading to Florida State also.
North Florida Christian's 2013 shortstop and right-handed pitcher M.T. Minacci and 2014 left-handed pitcher Carson Sands are already committed to the Seminoles. Having grown up playing baseball next to them, Railey's transition looks to be a smooth one.
"I am ready to continue playing games with them," he said. "I've actually grown up playing games with them since I have been about nine years old."
Strong in his faith, Seminoles head coach Mike Martin played a big role in Railey's recruitment. Of a similar upbringing, the local star preferred to be in a comfortable position.
Well, it just so happens FSU had that for him, too.
"Just the way they go about things," he said of what he liked most. "Mike Martin, he's a Christian guy. I come from a Christian family and I felt comfortable going there and doing the same things that I normally do."
Railey's athleticism and versatility at the plate were big draws in the recruitment process. As Florida State's coaches evaluated him, they obviously liked where he projected as a one-through-four hitter.
"I have been able to get a good jump on the ball in the outfield, I am pretty fast," Railey explained. "My bat, I can do a lot of things with it. I can hit for average, power and I can get the runner over if I need to."
At FSU, Railey intends to study either international affairs or criminal justice.