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Priester gets second chance to live out dream

Two years ago, Blaise Priester thought the chance to live out his dream was over.

Originally signing with LSU coming out of Live Oak High School in Denham Springs, Priester was on the fall roster.

Then he had a very uncomfortable conversation with then first-year Tigers coach Jay Johnson.

“I simply was not ready to play at that time at that level,” Priester said. “Coach Johnson was very honest in my exit interview that fall. He told me I needed to go to a Junior College and get some more at-bats and just overall more experience. So off to Meridian JC I went.

“Fast forward to this fall and the conversation (Johnson) and I had this time was very different. We talked on the phone and he told me how much of a different person I am now. He credited me for working my tail off and as we like to say, getting to the grind. He said that I have shown him that I can now play at this level because of how much I have matured and grew up.”

Priester had an impressive 2023 season at Meridian, hitting .357 with 10 home runs and 36 runs driven in.

The Tigers head coach reiterated his praise of his 6-3, 215-pound 2024 catcher signee.

“He’s done what he has needed to do over the past 18 months,” Johnson said. “To start with, he’s a good player now. He has really cleaned up his body and he’s a good receiver of the baseball behind the plate to go along with a cannon of an arm. He’s always had power, but he is taking much more mature at-bats now and he looks like he is closer to being able to really handle good pitching, which you have to do in the Southeastern Conference.

“Credit to Blaise, catcher will be a position of need as Alex Milazzo and Hayden Travinski move on at the end of this year. We think Brady Neal is an outstanding catcher, but you can’t catch him every game. You have to be able to keep his legs underneath him. I truly believe (Priester) will help us tremendously when it comes to the 2025 season, adding Blaise to go along with the improvements he has made.”


Growing up less than an hour from the LSU campus, it was Priester’s dream to follow in the footsteps of some of his favorite childhood players like Mikie Mahtook, Mason Katz and Alex Bregman.

“I went to all of those games as a kid and enjoyed being in Alex Box Stadium,” he said. “It was my childhood dream to accomplish this and now after a very long journey, we are finally here.

“The game of baseball has humbled me the last 18 months and I used that becoming humble as fuel to motivate me to work as hard as possible to get back to achieving the dream (of playing at LSU). The biggest change for me was my mentality. When I walked into Baton Rouge the first time coming out of high school I thought I was just going to walk in as the big dog. I was humbled very quickly. I was a little fish in a big pond and then heading to Meridian I had to work my butt off to become a big fish in a little pond. I worked very hard and more importantly, had to become a much better student of the game. Family is so pumped for me to be able to come back home and play in front of the family and friends that have meant so much to me.”



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