WVU notebook: Promoter fired up for date with Virginia Tech

Gazette-Mail file photo
West Virginia University receiver Ka’Raun White.

Tickets remain on sale for WVU’s Sept. 3 football opener at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, against Virginia Tech.

Yet the Mountaineers have sold out their game allotment. The Hokies have sold out their allotment.

And that’s making Russ Potts Productions, the game promoter, very happy.

“We expect it to be a full house or sellout,” said RPP representative Zach Franz on Tuesday.

The game was moved from its original date to a 7:30 p.m. Sunday start to accommodate ABC, which will televise the game. WVU finished 10-3 last season and was picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 this season via the league’s preseason media poll. Virginia Tech finished 10-4 in 2016 after winning the ACC Coastal Division and playing in its league championship. The Hokies were picked to finish second in their division in 2017 by their league’s media poll. Miami was selected first.

“We’ve had a huge amount of enthusiasm for the game,” Franz said. “We have two passionate fan bases. It’s received a great response ever since the game was announced.”

FedExField’s capacity is listed at 82,000. Representatives of both schools said tickets can still be bought through Ticketmaster.

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WVU has announced its annual Fan Day will be held on Sunday, Aug. 13, at 1 p.m. at the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility in Morgantown.

Mountaineer fans will be given the opportunity to get autographs from head coach Dana Holgorsen, his assistants and players. They will be signing from 1-3 p.m. Gates will open at 12:45 p.m.

Each fan will be limited to one autograph item. Setting up posed pictures with players and coaches will not be allowed in order to keep lines moving.

WVU warns construction is ongoing in the area so parking near the facility will be limited. Many other lots, however, will offer free parking.

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It was just a fun survey — players don’t have a vote — but the Dallas Morning News surveyed the 24 players at last week’s Big 12 media days and found 75 percent would like to see expansion.

On top of that, the clear choice of the players was the University of Houston.

“Houston’s a top team now,” said one player.

The problem: Expansion is off the table for the foreseeable future.

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While college football coaches try to secure recruiting commitments, websites like Scout, 247Sports and Rivals like to keep score. And some watching those scores are pointing to the potential 2018 classes of Texas and Oklahoma.

Recently there’s been criticism of the Big 12 because of its lackluster NFL draft performance, but much is looking up, at least at those two schools.

Texas currently has the nation’s No. 3 class according to Scout, the No. 4 class according to 247Sports and the No. 7 class according to Rivals. Oklahoma is at No. 8 (Rivals), No. 9 (247Sports) and No. 14 (Scout) as of Tuesday evening.

It’s still very early in the process. (Alabama’s highest ranking so far is Scout’s at No. 31. In fact, the Crimson Tide is one spot above Texas Tech at No. 45, according to 247Sports.) But Texas has been on a bit of a roll, recently landing four-star players like Brennan Eagles, a 6-foot-3 receiver, and Jalen Green, a cornerback. Eagles was the third-rated overall player in Texas.

Otherwise the Big 12 recruiting ratings are jumbled. Here are some with school and ratings from, in order, Scout, 247Sports and Rivals: TCU (32, 23, 22), Oklahoma State (34, 25, 17), Baylor (35, 27, 19), Kansas (36, 37, 30), Texas Tech (48, 46, 43) and WVU (45, 54, 50).

Contact Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827 or mitchvingle@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @MitchVingle.

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