For Oviedo (Fla.) lineman Alec Shriner, his recruitment from West Virginia ended much the same way it started almost exactly one year ago — with a trip to Morgantown and a meeting with the coaches in the Puskar Center.
Shriner, a 2015 prospect who held offers from South Florida, Florida International, Georgia Tech and more, committed to the Mountaineers Monday evening after an unofficial visit to campus.
“I saw what I needed to see,” he said shortly after his pledge. “I liked the coaches. I liked the facilities. I liked the program. It was just an all-around good fit for me.”
The West Virginia coaches liked him, too. When Shriner made the trek up last season as a relative unknown, he was an offensive lineman who had piqued the coaches’ interest as they watched his teammate (and 2014 signee) Tyree Owens.
During that camp, Shriner made a big impression, dominating one-on-ones and showing excellent footwork and agility during drills. By the end of the day, the coaches had named him the offensive line MVP and informed him that he was “high on their recruiting board.”
Several months passed with little movement in his recruitment from West Virginia, however. The issue was not anything the coaches had seen, but rather what they had not — the staff wanted to see his toughness and mean streak on the defensive side of the ball. They liked him as a defensive tackle.
So over the spring evaluation period, West Virginia twice visited Oviedo High School to watch Shriner work out and practice.
“They swung by to see me twice — first it was [area recruiter Joe] DeForest, and the second time it was him and the defensive coordinator [Tony Gibson],” said Shriner. “He said they like me on the defensive line. They like me playing nose tackle.”
Earlier this month, West Virginia finally came through with an offer. Within a week, Shriner had set up a visit to Morgantown, setting the stage for a two-week turnaround between an offer and a commitment. Unlike most recruits nowadays, though, don’t expect to hear Shriner involved with other colleges going forward.
“I’m committed now, so I’m done with visits,” said the 247Sports three-star recruit. “I will try to get up to West Virginia again this fall for a game, but nowhere else.”
Chris Anderson is a full-time writer for eersports.com.