Aiden West knew what offer he craved and the school he wanted to play baseball at. Once he received that chance, there was little need for pretense.
Despite being in the class of 2025 and having three more seasons of high school baseball, West committed to NC State immediately after receiving an offer from head coach Elliott Avent and assistant Chris Hart.
The shortstop from Long Reach High School (Columbia, Maryland) has Wolfpack lineage, as his grandfather, Eddie West, played for the Wolfpack in the 1950s.
But it was the family atmosphere and heritage on the baseball diamond, particularly with middle infielders, that sold West on deciding to run with the Pack.
Rob McLamb of All-Wolfpack recently spoke with West about his baseball career and early commitment to NC State.
All-Wolfpack Most recruits will let the process linger and decide where to go to college later in their high school career. You committed to NC State early. What led to that decision?
West Knowing that I would’ve been the first shortstop to commit in my class was huge for me, and after going on the campus a couple times, I really fell in love with Doak Field and just the whole campus really. I got to tour around, myself and my dad after some tournaments and I just decided to commit this early because I knew it was a place for me. I was excited to get to work with, with the coaches there.
All-Wolfpack What do you think about the NC State coaching staff?
West They’re great. When I went to the camp they were just super fun to be around and I could tell that it was definitely coaches that I would want to have my name under and play under. I just feel like they can provide me with the best coaching that I need to keep going in baseball and in my life.
All-Wolfpack We’ll get back to NC State, but I want to backtrack now. When did baseball become a thing in your life? Does your family have a background in the game?
West When I was like, about four or five years old, I just started T-Ball and then kept going on from there. My grandfather, Eddie West, actually was a catcher at NC State, so that’s another big reason why I committed there. He was a catcher.
All-Wolfpack With your family background and early commitment it seems like NC State was always a preferred destination.
West NC State was always one of my dream schools ever since I was young, ever since I learned that my grandfather played there, and a couple guys like Jose Torres, he went to a private school, which is near where I live. He was a short stop there in 2021, led them to that crazy college World Series run, and my dreams started becoming reality when they first reached out to me.
All-Wolfpack And when did NC State first reach out to you?
West It was around mid-summer of 2021.
All-Wolfpack You spoke of your lineage with NC State, but there is also a shortstop lineage with the Wolfpack as well. What does that mean and is it a pressure to try to uphold that standard?
West It means a lot. I look up to those guys like Trea Turner a lot. Obviously, it means a lot to me knowing that there were so many great shortstops and players ahead of me. I just hope to one day continue that legacy when I get there. I just see pressure as a privilege. I’m excited to get there and pressure really motivates me.
All-Wolfpack What are your strengths and what do you want to improve?
West I think that I’m definitely a field general. When I’m at shortstop, I’m controlling my outfielders, telling them where to go, especially if I know the hit tendencies based off of previous at bats. I think I’m definitely talking about that, which is a good thing. And then also being aggressive at the plate, but in a good way, not just lunging at pitches, but if I get a hit or if I get a pitch that I know it could hit I’m not just going to sit there and take it. I’m gonna go ahead and swing at it.
One thing I’m really working on right now is picking up different pitch spins to being able to recognize the curve ball earlier and better…so when I get there to Raleigh, it’ll be a lot easier for me.
All-Wolfpack Do you know what you want to major in at NC State?
West I saw a lot of guys on the baseball team were doing sports management, so I’m really just thinking that right now.
All-Wolfpack How do you feel about NC State’s coaching staff?
West I love it. I love Avent. He’s been super great to me and my family. I still remember that phone call when I told him that I would come to NC State. I actually called Hart first, and then I called Coach Avent.
It is a funny story. Coach Avent was actually in a card shop because his mom loves to write cards to people, and he was actually at the cash register when I called him. I heard him talk.I sent my name and who I was and then he told the person at the cash register, hold on, that’s an important call. Then I told him I was coming in and he was just super-pumped, and I’ve talked to him a couple times from when I committed to, to now, but mostly I’m calling coach Hart and Coach Bo Robinson (director of player personnel) a lot.
Coach Hart is amazing. When I made that call, he was also super-pumped. He welcomed me to family really early and just expressed his happiness with me committed to NC State. I’ve been calling him at least like three to four times a month, so we actually talk on a pretty good basis. He will help me. He can help me with my swing even when I’m not there yet. He will tell me on what approaches they use there right now, so I could use that into my game before I get there.
All-Wolfpack How important is it to have that relationship now?
West It’s crazy. It helps an insane amount. I don’t think some people realize how much just talking to your future coach can really calm you down and just let you know and get used to things. How they do it there.
All-Wolfpack How good can NC State be this season?
West I’ve been talking to Coach Hart about their guys. They have a lot of impact pressure coming in. Like, uh, like, you know, they have Eli Serrano coming in, who’s there’s a great outfielder. They have guys like Payton Green returning who I think is going have an amazing season. Losing Tommy (White) does hurt a little bit, but I think we still have guys that could fill in and still make an impact, so I definitely think we’ll be in the run for the ACC and then just keep going from there. Hopefully (I will) get to watch a regional.
All-Wolfpack How much will it mean to you to take the field at Doak and wear the NC State uniform?
West It’ll mean the world to me. I am hoping that a lot of my family could be there when that happens.I’m just looking forward to it a lot. That’s what I continue putting in the work for. I have worked even harder since I committed and have not slowed down at all. I’m just super pumped to get there one day.
All-Wolfpack Do you plan on catching some games this season?
West Last year I was able to get down twice since I’m like a good four or five hours away. I hope to get down there at least two times this year too.
All-Wolfpack What is your impression of the other recruits coming to NC State and what goals do you have for your time in college?
West I’ve been talking with the other guys coming in in my class a lot, and even the classes older than me and younger than me, the 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026 classes. We’ve all been talking, so building that connection before we even get there is going to be a huge part. I’m gonna spend a good three to four years of my life with those guys. It’s definitely important to me continue to talk now, and my goal when I get there is to be impactful from day one of when I get there.
I want to be an impactful freshman, on the field or off the field, and just building connections with any type of people there, other athletes, other scholars there. I just want to leave my mark at NC State, and just keep working to get there.
All-Wolfpack Announcing your commitment o social media meant many NCSU fans reaching out to connect with you. What is your message to Wolfpack Nation?
West I would just say that Wolfpack Nation has already shown me so much love. Once I put out that commitment post, I had a lot of NC State baseball fans congratulating me, and I just really felt loved already. I can’t wait to get there and just get to see some of those fans in person, play in front of them and take pride in wearing that jersey.
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