JTC 24: Playing the Long Game

Cas Blevins combines love of baseball with his graduate degree pursuits

A man wearing a white shirt and a graduation cap poses for a photo.

This story is part of the 2024 Journey to Commencement series, which celebrates the pinnacle of the academic year by highlighting University of Mississippi students and their outstanding academic and personal journeys from college student to college graduate.

Like many college baseball players, Cas Blevins, of Johnson City, Tennessee, knew he wanted to continue his career in baseball after college but had determined that his path in athletics would continue off the field.

After completing his bachelor's degree in mathematics at Emory & Henry College in Virginia, he sought out an analytics graduate program that would allow him to break into the sport analytics industry with an educational advantage over other applicants. His research led him to the Master of Science in Sport Analytics program at the University of Mississippi, which he quickly realized fit his needs perfectly.

"I heard great things about the university and this program specifically," he said.


Cas Blevins plays in a baseball game at Emory & Henry College in Virginia, where he earned his bachelor's in mathematics. Submitted photo

The fully online delivery of the program was the first thing that stood out to Blevins, as he said it "would allow me to begin an entry-level position anywhere in the world to get my career going while also finishing my degree." The relatively short timeframe of the program, which he has completed in one year, was also a draw.

As a player development intern for the Washington Nationals, finding a program that offers flexibility was key for Blevins. He routinely works 70 hours a week, and during certain times of the year can end up working seven days a week.

He needed an online program that allowed him to work around this hectic schedule and found the perfect fit with the Ole Miss program.

Even though finding time to complete his coursework on top of his professional work wasn't always easy, and he's had to spend a lot of late nights completing assignments, Blevins said "the program's accessibility has allowed me to accomplish everything I have needed to so far."

Even in the online environment, he's been able to build meaningful relationships with his instructors and peers that have helped him complete the degree program in one year.

"You can tell the staff cares about every one of us, despite not being able to see us in person," he said.

The program's faculty hold Blevins in high regard.

"Cas Blevins demonstrates a sincere passion for baseball and maintains a humble dedication to academic excellence," said Minsoo Kang, MSSA program coordinator. "His ambition to work in MLB aligns with his studies in the M.S. in Sport Analytics program, where he consistently excels as a student."


Cas Blevins admires the scenery while hiking in the Grand Canyon. Submitted photo

Blevins has also enjoyed getting to know his peers during his time in the program, sharing that interactions with fellow students were fantastic.

"Everyone seems to engage in productive discourse inside and outside discussion boards," he said.

With his master's in hand from Ole Miss, Blevins is confident that the program has given him a solid foundation for his career.

"This degree has already made me a better prepared and more skilled candidate for a job in sports and has given me a deeper knowledge of almost every aspect of analytics in sports. I hope I can use this knowledge and apply it to the world's greatest game, baseball."

See more photos from Cas Blevins' Journey to Commencement


Megan Black, School of Applied Sciences



April 28, 2024


Cas Blevins

A man in a white shirt wears graduation regalia.

Cas Blevins wears regalia from his membership in Kappa Sigma fraternity at his undergraduate graduation from Emory & Henry College in Virginia. Submitted photo

A baseball player runs through the rain

Cas Blevins hopes to use his master's degree in sport analytics to work in player development Major League Baseball. Submitted photo

A young man stands on a trail in the Grand Canyon.

Cas Blevins hikes in the Grand Canyon. Submitted photo