CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ye olde notebook:On Thursday, I caught up to Martinsburg High hoops coach Dave Rogers.
To check on one of his players. To check on him.In case you're unaware, the recruiting process has been warming for the Bulldogs' Donte Grantham, a 6-foot-7 senior who has been leading MHS to the No. 1 spot in the latest Class AAA poll."Good kid," Rogers said. "Marshall has offered. Radford has offered. And those still looking are West Virginia, Temple, Georgetown, Villanova and Xavier. Clemson and Maryland have both called. [Villanova coach] Jay Wright was at the Mercersburg [Pa.] Academy game."The MHS coach said a Clemson representative was to visit a practice today.Grantham's stock rose after the Bulldogs played St. James of Hagerstown, Md. Going against Obi Enechionyia, a highly touted prospect, Grantham matched the standout with 23 points and also had six rebounds, four steals, four 3-point goals, three blocks, three dunks and a pair of assists. Enechionyia is a four-star recruit with offers to Indiana, Maryland, Miami, Villanova, Virginia, VCU and Xavier."He's a 6-7 guy who is agile and can put the ball on the floor," Rogers said of Grantham. "He handles the ball well and can shoot a 3. Nice player; good kid. And he has good grades. He's already qualified."
Rogers, meanwhile, was in Morgantown watching a WVU practice not long ago when he started climbing stairs and struggled to breathe. After returning to Martinsburg, he told his wife he needed to visit the hospital. Rogers said the doctors found a pulmonary embolism, blood clots shutting down 90 percent of his lungs. He spent 11 days in the Intensive Care Unit of City Hospital in Martinsburg."When you can't breathe, it's scary," Rogers said. "The doctors said I was very lucky. Mostly when they see that, it's in an autopsy."Rogers said his particular condition is hereditary and he is now on blood thinners."Fortunately, I have a second shot," said the coach.Did you know Shannon Larkin, drummer for the rock/alternative metal group Godsmack, was raised in Martinsburg? It's true.
(A bonus tidbit because I like you guys.) And finally . . .
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen and athletic director Oliver Luck apparently scored in flamboyant fashion on Thursday.The Mountaineers took what was perceived as a significant hit when offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh bolted for Oklahoma.Holgorsen turned to Vanderbilt and former Mountaineer assistant Herb Hand, who said no, which was not a surprise. Hand, who also has an extensive WVC background and was a Rich Rodriguez assistant, loves WVU and Morgantown, but he also has a deep loyalty to Commodores coach James Franklin. Hand has also turned down offers from Auburn (more than once) to stick with Franklin.
Mountaineer fans, though, seem ecstatic with the selection of Ron Crook of Stanford. As well they should.Cardinal All-America tight end Zach Ertz said WVU is getting "a hell of a coach," and Crook's results certainly suggest that's the case.Stanford has basically become Tight End University. The Indianapolis Colts took Stanford's Andrew Luck No. 1 last year then his teammate, tight end Coby Fleener, in the second round. Ertz was a consensus All-America pick this season. Levine Toilolo, another Cardinal tight end, is expected to go high next season.Obviously, athletic director Oliver Luck's connection to Stanford had much to do with the hire.Whatever the case, Crook is one popular choice.Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.