Dorian Etheridge, Derrek Pitts among state’s major college signees

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Capital’s Dorian Etheridge (17) is expected to sign a national letter of intent Wednesday to play college football at the University of Louisville.

Another solid crop of recruits from the state of West Virginia is set to join the ranks of major-college football during Wednesday’s National Signing Day.

Of the nine players expected to sign their letters of intent today, three are committed to West Virginia University — defensive back Derrek Pitts (South Charleston), linebacker Maverick Wolfley (Morgantown) and defensive lineman Darius Stills (Fairmont Senior).

The others are Capital linebacker Dorian Etheridge (Louisville), Huntington offensive lineman Billy Ross (North Carolina), Spring Valley offensive lineman Riley Locklear (Tennessee) and linebacker Jonah Wellman (Eastern Kentucky), Point Pleasant offensive lineman Seth Stewart (LSU) and Tucker County lineman Eddie Kachmarek (Robert Morris).

Robert Morris is a Football Championship Subdivision program near Pittsburgh. Kachmarek (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) also received an offer from San Diego.

Pitts is scheduled to sign with WVU during a 2 p.m. ceremony in the high school piazza, along with linebacker and SC teammate Lawrence Cunningham, who is joining the Mountaineers as an invited walk-on. Pitts (6-2, 190) is a first-team Class AAA all-state choice who received the Carl Lee Award as the state’s top defensive back.

Etheridge’s signing ceremony is set for 11:30 a.m. near the main office at Capital High. Also a first-team AAA all-stater, Etheridge (6-3, 218) had 83 tackles last season, including 9 1/2 for loss and two interceptions.

Some recruiting services indicate that Etheridge might still change his mind and switch to West Virginia, but Louisville coach Bobby Petrino visited Etheridge two weeks ago and new defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon was in town last week. Capital coach Jon Carpenter thinks Etheridge is “100 percent’’ committed to the Cardinals.

Another in-state product who could sign with a Division I school Wednesday is defensive lineman Daniel Buchanan of Class AA state champion Mingo Central.

Buchanan has long-standing offers from Appalachian State, Central Florida, Eastern Kentucky, Toledo and Villanova. Buchanan said WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson paid him a recent visit. Gibson, a native of Van in Boone County, remains quite familiar with coalfield prep football.

Others who could get looks at the major-college level include Moorefield center-defensive tackle Brock Dolly, Huntington place-kicker Cason Kessinger, Weir defensive end Jordan Allen and Bridgeport linebacker Mackenzie Holmes.

Last week, another key player in Spring Valley’s rise to the Class AAA championship game, running back Mason Brubeck, said he was accepting a preferred walk-on offer from Louisville.

A season ago, 11 West Virginia high school football players wound up signing letters of intent with major-college programs.

Contact Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @RickRyanWV.

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