Five Chattahoochee Valley Community College baseball players signed Division-I athletic scholarships on Friday at a signing ceremony on campus.
Catcher Jared Martin and pitcher Dalton Rentz will play in the Southeastern Conference at South Carolina and Auburn, respectively. Pitcher Chris Brown and Colt Ramsey will both play at Georgia Southern, and pitcher Kevin Moore will play at South Alabama.
The five were a part of a Pirates team that went 42-12 in 2013, earning the first No. 1 national ranking in program history.
"It kind of takes me back to our 2010 team that I thought was the best that ever stepped on our baseball field," coach Adam Thomas said.
"It is very impressive. To have one is impressive, but to have five, and going to big-time programs. Not just D-I for the sake of D-I. I'm proud of these boys."
Rentz and Martin are among the highly touted junior college players in the country.
Talking at the ceremony about Rentz, Thomas said he considered him one of the better pitchers to wear a Chattahoochee Valley uniform.
As a freshman last year, Rentz was 10-1 with a 2.44 earned run average.
He said he chose Auburn because of family, tradition and everything about the facilities and campus, adding that expectations for him would be high when he joined the team.
"They said they're going to be expecting me to be in a starting role when I come in," he said.
Martin said he also expected to go in and have a chance to start at catcher right away.
South Carolina, one of the nation's best programs over the past few years, will likely lose a catcher to the draft, and Martin said coaches wanted an experienced junior college player to take the reins right away.
He said he was excited to have a chance to play at such a high level.
"There's no better competition than the SEC," he said. "I can't wait to get there and see the competition and prove myself."
Martin hit .337 with three home runs and 45 RBIs last season.
Brown pitched in 11 games as a reliever last season, winning two games and compiling a 0.66 ERA. Ramsey was 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 14 appearances, 13 of which came in relief.
Both said the expectations were high for them, as well.
"They expect me to pitch a lot for them," Brown said.
"They want guys who have had experience at the JUCO level who can come in right away and pitch for them."
"They're expecting good JUCO arms with me and Chris going down there," Ramsey said.
Moore was 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA in 12 appearances, five of which were starts. He said he wants to go in and have plenty of success right away.
"They expect me to be a starting pitcher and just to dominate on the mound," he said.
"They're expecting big things from me."
All five will be back for the 2014 season at Chattahoochee Valley before moving on to their new teams. Expectations are understandably high for the Pirates.
"We've got a lot of talent on this team, more talent than I've ever played with," Martin said.
"We've got a good shot, we just have to play together. We've been working real hard. We've got a lot of expectations, but this group can get it done."