Jayson Nash prepping to bat in a game against Irmo High.
Jayson Nash prepping to bat in a game against Irmo High.
Ranya Reed

Jayson Nash hits a home run

The RNE senior recently signed with a Division I university

Throughout his entire life, Jayson Nash has had only one goal. He first picked up the baseball bat when he was only three years old, and hasn’t put it down since.  And on February 7, 2024, it finally paid off

“As a kid, I knew I wanted to go  D1 (Division I). That was my whole goal,” Nash said.  

February 7, 2024, was National Signing Day, where athletes signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to commit to an NCAA college or university. Several athletes from RNE signed with a number of schools.  Jayson Nash, a senior, signed with Long Wood University, a Division I college for baseball. 

Playing Division I is not easy;  most athletes start focusing on a sport from a very young age. Nash started playing travel baseball when he was only nine years old. This got him recognition from college coaches while giving him the experience he needed to succeed.  

It requires dedication to go Division I, and Nash certainly put in the work. 

“Just practice, practice, practice,” Nash said.

Athletes not only put in extra work on the field but also in the classroom, by keeping their grades up while excelling at their sport. 

“I think just prioritizing their time, making sure they’re handling things on and off the field, and just making sure they’re not lacking and in one department,” Baseball Coach Brandon Gipson said about the athletes. 

Along with starting at a young age, players also need to have a love for and a good attitude towards the sport they’re playing. Jacqueline Kershaw, Nash’s mom and a volleyball coach here at RNE, talked about some of the traits of kids who get to play college sports. 

“They’re dedicated to the sport. So they’re not only practicing when it’s practice time, they’re doing things themselves outside of practice,” Kershaw said.

Players who can showcase their skills and work ethic consistently have a better chance of catching the eye of college recruiters. Additionally, having a strong support system, including coaches, teammates, and parents, can greatly impact a player’s journey to playing college sports. 

“I had some of my old coaches work with MLB teams, and they were big as giving me connections with people,” Nash said. 

Coaches not only play a large role in getting players where they need to be physically, but also help their players network and build connections within the college sports community. 

“I’m in touch with colleges. So I do know people. I provide them with avenues to maybe go to a showcase so that they’re able to be seen,” Kershaw said. 

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