Jacksonville linebacker Isaiah Bruce had a gap in his schedule that allowed him to squeeze in a visit to West Virginia's Thursday night win over USF, and he received a good look on what was his first-ever visit to the campus.
"I went to the game on Thursday night, and that was a good game," said Bruce of the defense-dominated effort. "It was an awesome defensive struggle, and being a linebacker I liked that. On Friday, I toured the campus, and got to meet with the players and coaches and learn about the program. It was my first trip to West Virginia and the mountains really surprised me. They were everywhere!"
Bruce's school and game schedules haven't permitted him to schedule his visits as quickly as he would like, but in putting his schoolwork and current team first, that's a problem he is willing to wait to work out. Right now, West Virginia and Purdue have both offered and are the leaders for his services. He hopes to get a visit to Purdue in November or December, and by that time other schools could come into the offer picture as well. He's taking a measured approach to the recruiting process.
"I don't have a timetable for making a commitment, so if another school comes into the picture I might add a visit," he said of his plans. "I do plan on visiting Purdue before I make my choice."
A linebacker who plays both inside and outside in a 3-4 scheme, Bruce sees a lot to like about West Virginia's 3-3 set.
"Blitzing is my strength, and I think the way I play really fits with what West Virginia does with the stack," he analyzed. "That's one of the biggest things I like about them. I play inside on early downs, then I move outside on third down, so I have experience playing both. I think I'd be outside at West Virginia."
That experience would certainly help Bruce adapt to West Virginia's scheme, where he'd have the chance to get after the passer just as he does in high school. He's averaging 10 tackles per game and has six sacks to help Providence get off to a 6-0 start this year.
"I am very good at blitzing, but I can drop into pass coverage too," Bruce said. "I'm good doing that. I don't have a pick yet, but I have a couple of pass breakups."
Bruce has been on West Virginia's recruiting radar since his junior season, when he coach sent in film that was well-received by the Mountaineer staff.
"Ever since they saw my film, they said they liked me and wanted to get me up for a visit," Bruce related. "Coach Dave Johnson is my recruiting coach. He is a cool guy – very down to earth He's very real, and he tells you what you need to hear."