West Virginia football opened its 2019 season and the Neal Brown era on Saturday, defeating James Madison, 20-13, in front of a sellout crowd at Milan Puskar Stadium. Brown, sensing an opportunity, was sure to invite up a couple dozen recruits to see the action as well – and they all left impressed.
“It never disappoints,” said Cumberland (Maryland) Fort Hill kicker Danny King. “The atmosphere is like no other and it shows how much love and support you get from the state.”
King, who is currently committed to West Virginia as a preferred walk-on, has been to campus numerous times over the last couple of years. So, too, has fellow specialist commit Kaulin Parris, who was also in attendance at Saturday’s game.
“It was such a blessing to be back here [Saturday],” he said. “It was awesome to see coach Brown get his first win.”
Wide receiver commit Devell Washington, who committed to the Mountaineers over offers from Michigan State, Penn State and several others, has also been to Morgantown a few times since committing, but this was his first time for a game.
“The atmosphere was crazy,” he said. “It was cool to see the passion from the fan base. The visit was great. It was good to see the offense open things up when everyone got in rhythm.”
Football was not the only team taking advantage of the scene on Saturday. Head coach Bob Huggins and the men’s basketball team also hosted a dozen visitors for the game, including a couple of official visitors. The big name was former Fairmont star Jalen Bridges, who took his official visit to campus for the whole weekend. The 247Sports four-star recruit recently trimmed his list down to a top five, with Alabama, Indiana, Miami and Xavier joining WVU in the mix.
Joining Bridges as one of the standouts at the open gym with all the basketball recruits was Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary’s guard Seth Wilson. The class of 2021 prospect claimed a West Virginia offer earlier this year and was apparently impressed with what he saw while on campus as well. He committed on Saturday before the game started.
The visits won’t stop here, especially with basketball. Thanks to the holiday weekend, Huggins and company will play host to another official visitor on Monday in Wildwood (New Jersey) Catholic forward Taj Thweatt. He has the Mountaineers in his top group with Florida, Penn State and Temple.
West Virginia will hit the road this coming week, meaning visits for either sport are unlikely. The following weekend, though, N.C. State will come to town and both teams are hoping to follow up with a slew of big-time visitors once more.