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Homeward Bound: Priest arrives in Tiger Town, Closer to home

July 2, 2024
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In a major offseason win for Clemson baseball, Collin Priest, a standout freshman from Michigan, recently announced his transfer to Erik Bakich’s program.

Priest, who hails from Mount Dora, Florida, set a freshman record for home runs with the Wolverines and earned 2nd-team freshman All-American honors. ClemsonSportsTalk.com recently caught up with the star player after his announcement landed on social media.

The decision to transfer to Clemson was fueled by Priest's desire to be closer to home and to join a program with a strong culture and player development.

"The decision was made by wanting to come down south— closer to home,” Priest said.

In his freshman season with Michigan, Priest posted impressive numbers, hitting .279 with a .445 on-base percentage and a .578 slugging percentage, alongside 11 home runs. His performance also earned him a spot on the All-Big Ten Freshman Team as a designated hitter.

Priest's arrival at Clemson is particularly significant given his accolades and the promise he brings to the Tigers' lineup. His offensive prowess and experience in a competitive Big Ten environment will be valuable assets for Bakich’s squad heading into year three.

“Clemson stood out because of the culture made by the coaches and players and the way they developed their players," he noted.

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The decision to transfer wasn’t initially exclusive to Clemson, but the visit to the campus changed Priest's mind. "At first, it wasn’t only Clemson, but once I visited, it was only Clemson," he admitted.

Priest also shared his thoughts on fellow transfer Luke Gaffney from Purdue, who recently committed to Clemson as well.

"Gaffney can play. He’s very good. Definitely a threat and also brings a high amount of energy," Priest noted, adding that they did not visit Clemson simultaneously.

Although Priest committed to Michigan after Coach Bakich had already moved to Clemson, some may wonder if he already had a relationship with the Wolverines’ former skipper. When asked if he had a prior relationship with Bakich, Priest responded, "I did not.”

Priest is excited about the new chapter with the Tigers and eager to make an impact. "I’m excited for this new opportunity and ready to give it my all for the Tigers," he said.

Clemson fans can look forward to seeing Priest bring his home run power and enthusiasm to the diamond, further bolstering a program on the rise. For Priest, it’s an opportunity to get closer to home, which is a win-win situation.

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Homeward Bound: Priest arrives in Tiger Town, Closer to home

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