FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Homestead High School graduate Andre Jernigan has plenty of options for the future. That’s because his past and present are pretty outstanding.
A preseason All-Big East selection, Jernigan is listed as a senior for the Xavier Musketeers. Set to graduate with a degree in business next month, Jernigan redshirted the 2013 season at Xavier and could return to the team next spring while working on a master’s degree.
However, the former Spartan could also be selected in the MLB draft this year after three seasons as Xavier’s starting shortstop.
“There’s definitely been guys before me,” Jernigan told WANE-TV after Tuesday’s game at Ball State in Muncie. “You look at Kevin Kiermaier and what he’s doing on the major league level. You definitely look up to guys like that. Of course, all of us at this level and even younger, we all dream of playing pro baseball. So, if the opportunity comes around, that’d be amazing, but as of right now I’m really focusing on helping Xavier get wins and graduating.”
Productivity has never been a problem for Jernigan. In 2014 he helped Xavier earn a berth in the NCAA tournament, leading the team with six home runs, 41 RBI, and 13 stolen bases. Last season he lead the team with 53 hits, 210 at bats, and 16 stolen bases.
So far in 2016 he’s hitting .273 while starting all 29 games. Jernigan is tied for the team lead with eight home runs and 19 runs scored.
Jernigan has gotten plenty of support from both parents – Stacey and Frankie Jernigan – along the way. An all-state player at Muncie Central in 1987, Frankie went on to play college baseball at the University of Nebraska.
If Andre does get drafted, he won’t have to go far to get advice on being a professional athlete. His uncle is former Ball State basketball standout Bonzi Wells. Wells was a lottery pick by the Detroit Pistons and played 10 years in the NBA.