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It never gets old talking to North Carolina State head coach Elliott Avent -- who’s entering his 18th season with the program -- about junior lefthanded pitcher Carlos Rodon and outstanding shortstop Trea Turner.
Avent isn’t necessarily surprised college baseball’s elite duo has turned out this good, but he chuckles at just how unique their situations were from the time they stepped on campus until now.
From wide-eyed freshmen to two of the game’s elite players and prospects. That’s the story of Rodon (called “Big Time” by his teammates) and Turner (called “Seabiscuit” by his teammates because of his speed).
For Avent, the track Turner has been on the past few seasons is particularly funny to talk about. As a freshman for the Wolfpack, Avent remembers telling Turner that he was going to start on a weekend early in the season. Turner, Avent said, immediately called his parents and said if they wanted to see him play, they better come down that weekend.
That was a young Trea Turner. And despite the uncertainty about his future with the Wolfpack in terms of playing time, Avent made it abundantly clear what his status with the program was moving forward.
“It’s still funny today, but I remember Trea telling his parents if they want to see him start, they better come down, because he said he might not ever start again,” Avent said. “I’ve always joked with Trea about that. I told him at that point that he was going to be starting … a lot.”
Then there’s Rodon.
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