West Virginia University added its ninth football commitment of the 2021 recruiting class on Thursday evening as Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek defensive end Brayden Dudley pledged to the Mountaineers over offers from Michigan State, Iowa State and more than a dozen other programs.
“It might be cliché, but it just felt like home,” Dudley said of his decision. “It just honestly fit in with my personality. Everything about it. The coaches made me feel like they could help me a lot, too. They could help me in football land as a man. All the pieces just fell into place.”
Dudley visited West Virginia back in March, taking in the final Junior Day before the NCAA handed down a nationwide in-person recruiting ban that is still in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will likely be in place through the end of the summer.
Dudley says that decision by the NCAA played no part in his timing. He just finished his last day of school and says he “had no other feelings about other schools” like he did with WVU.
So, on Thursday morning, he called a couple of his other finalists — including Big 12 rival Iowa State — and told them he would be closing down his recruitment and would be a Mountaineer. He has no plans to take any other visits, even when, or if, the NCAA allows in-person recruiting again this cycle.
As for his fit with the West Virginia defense, the 6-foot-3, 250-pounder will definitely be on the defensive line. After that, it’s a little more up in the air.
“They see me as a hybrid,” said Dudley. “There’s a possibility of me playing anywhere on the defensive line, but they said they would likely [start] me inside, depending on the situation.”
Dudley received a three-star rating in the 247Sports Composite.