The Clemson Insider has the latest on Clemson’s baseball program’s most recent verbal commit.
McDonogh (Reistertown, MD.) 2023 left-handed pitcher Jack Bussard visited campus on Wednesday, Oct. 13 and offered his verbal pledge to the Tigers nearly a day later.
Bussard was absolutely blown away by his visit and knew right away that he wanted to continue his collegiate career at Clemson.
“It ended up being the perfect fit for me at Clemson, I feel,” he told TCI. “That’s what kind of pushed for me to make my decision at that pace.”
He chose Clemson over schools like Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Richmond and the University of Michigan.
“I went down there on a visit,” Bussard said. “I had a great time. I felt like I really connected with the coaches well. Overall, I just thought it was the best fit academically and athletically for me and my family.”
What was it about Clemson’s recruiting pitch that resonated with Bussard?
“I would say the coaching staff and all their support staff,” he said. “I really got along with all of them. The coaches, I really got along with [pitching] coach [Andrew] See. I share a lot of his philosophies with pitching.
“As for Coach Lee, I really enjoyed how he talked about culture. In our little meeting on my visit, I asked him about culture and he really said a lot of things that resonated with me. I think the coaching staff was a huge part of my decision, as well as the general excellence in baseball and academics that the school has the reputation for.”
Bussard followed up on See’s pitching philosophy, which ultimately played a role in his decision.
“I would say the way that they manage their stuff in the weight room and their stuff, out throwing on the mound,” he said. “The way that they blend them together, I thought was really cool. I talked to [strength and conditioning coach] Rick [Franzblau] on my visit and really got along with him. He and coach See kind of talked about how they like to mesh together their different ideas on lifting and pitching and try to create more power out of the lower half.”
Bussard mentioned that working on his lower half is obviously something he needs to be working on a lot. He plans on working on it from now up until his career at Clemson.
Now, you may be asking yourself, what are Bussard’s strengths on the mound?
First and foremost, he’s a competitor. Bussard likes to pitch with some passion and some flair. As far as his pitching repertoire is concerned, he has an arsenal of pitches that include a fastball, slider, curve and change-up.
“A lot of people have been noticing my curveball for a while, but I would say that muy slider is kind of my go-to pitch,” Bussard said. “The curveball gets some publicity because of the way it looks, but I think the slider is a better pitch. I throw my slider a lot. Mixing the fastball with the slider and the curve and the change is where I sit best. I like to use them all a lot.”
Bussard indicates that he uses his fastball and his slider the most out of his four pitches. Right now, he’s sitting high 80s (MPH), but he’s hoping to be sitting low 90s by this coming season.
“I think I can be low-to-mid 90s by the time I’m at Clemson,” Bussard added.
He gave more insight into his pitching style. Bussard likes to rely on his fastball a lot and the way that he pitches is really over the top. He thinks of himself as a big lefty that can go a lot of innings usually.