"I went down on a visit [last] fall and sat down with Coach [Mike] Fox and Coach [Chad] Holbrook and I just felt right at home," said Lassiter. "I mean, they do things right there and they're just so successful."
Randy Pope, Lassiter's high school coach, was pleased with his star player's decision. "I thought it was a good fit," said Pope. "Carolina has a great program so I thought it would be a good match."
It wasn't mere coincidence that Lassiter's commitment to Carolina was followed shortly thereafter by a commitment from highly touted outfielder L.J. Hoes. Their friendship made the decision to commit to Fox and staff a lot easier for both of them.
"[L.J. and I] actually met two summers ago with the Dirtbags [summer team] and we've been friends ever since," Lassiter said. "We've been on the same team the last two years in summer ball, stayed in hotels together and a lot of the reason we both committed is because of our friendship. We talked a lot about the recruiting process and we both really liked Coach Fox and the program."
Fox has high hopes for his future infielder. "[Garrison] has the ability to be a special player," he said. "He is equally impressive offensively and defensively. He possesses great power for a middle infielder. We also love his demeanor, makeup and commitment to the game."
Pope described Lassiter as a player who leads by example. "He's very humble, low keyed, he does what he's supposed to and just gets after it," he said. "He's a quiet leader."
Last year at West Forsyth, Lassiter hit .413 with 5 home runs and 34 RBIs, and he accumulated these impressive stats in a conference that is historically very strong. Numerous Division I scholarship baseball players have come out of the greater Winston-Salem area over the years, including Lassiter's former high school teammate and future college teammate, UNC freshman Greg Holt.
As a defender, Lassiter is fully capable of playing multiple positions in the infield. According to scouts, he possesses great instincts, displays fluid movement, and has a power arm. Lassiter is ranked by Perfect Game as the No. 69 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 1 prospect in North Carolina. He was also one of only two juniors to make Impact Baseball's dream team for North Carolina in 2007.
Lassiter proved his abilities on the national level last summer. He was among the 34 players invited to the USA Baseball's Junior National Team Trials in Joplin, Mo. -- and after an impressive performance there, including batting .500, he was one of the 20 that made the team.
Later in the summer, he was one of the 38 high school players selected to play in the Aflac All-American Game in San Diego. "It was great, it was one of the best experiences I've had," Lassiter said. "I mean it was first class and you're out there with the best players in the country and it was just a great week for me."
Some of the other programs that competed for Lassiter's signature were UCLA, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, and Wake Forest. Since he'll compete against such top level programs in the future, Lassiter realizes he'll have to continue to improve. "I've been working and trying to get stronger and faster," he said.
When asked what he hopes to accomplish at UNC, Lassiter replied with what's become the standard answer of future Tar Heel baseball players: "A national championship, I mean that's what the goal is."
|Seth Baldwin||OF||Forest City (N.C.) East Rutherford|
|Derrik Gibson||SS/OF||Seaford (Del.) High|
|Matt Harrison||SS||Henderson (Nev.) Green Valley|
|L.J. Hoes||OF||Washington (D.C.) St. John|
|Jason Knapp||RHP||Annandale (N.J.) North Hunterdon|
|Garrison Lassiter||SS||Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth|
|Tim Melville||RHP/3B||Wentzville (Mo.) Holt|
|Jimmy Messer||RHP||Hudson (N.C.) South Caldwell|
|Quinton Miller||RHP||Medford (N.J.) Shawnee|
|Jacob Stallings||C||Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood|
|Jeff May||C||Creedmoor (N.C.) South Granville|
|Brian Goodwin||OF||Rocky Mount (N.C.) High|
|Levi Michael||MIF||Lexington (N.C.) North Davidson|
|Chris Munnelly||RHP||Lewisville (N.C.) Forsyth Country Day|