Flips And Flops

In recruiting, you win some battles and you almost always lose some as well. The West Virginia University football coaching staff felt the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat before lunchtime on Wednesday, the first day of the national letter of intent signing period, as plans changed for a pair of prospects on the Mountaineers' radar.

WVU won out in a battle of Big East Conference rivals to secure the services of offensive lineman Marquis Lucas, a 6-foot-4, 310-pounder from Miami Central High School in Florida.

Lucas was a long-time verbal commitment to Rutgers, but that changed in recent weeks. That allowed other schools to jump back into the picture, and West Virginia was joined by South Florida and Cincinnati, among others, in trying to secure a signature from the big lineman.

Lucas played that battle up a bit, as Luke Stampini of SoFLAfootball.com reported that Lucas had a Bearcats logo hat at the podium alongside his Mountaineer hat and briefly played up the possibility of going to UC by making a "C" with his hands.

But ultimately, the lineman pulled on the WVU hat and told Stampini "I'm coming [to Morgantown] to take someone's spot. I didn't come to sit."

That sentiment wasn't shared by long-time Mountaineer verbal commitment Jermichael Selders, a running back from Houston.

Selders began to cool on West Virginia after the program's offensive coaching staff changed abruptly in December, and he was classified as a "soft verbal" in recent weeks.

Ultimately, Selders decided to stay closer to home and attend Baylor. He signed and sent in a letter of intent to that school early Wednesday morning.

BlueGoldNews.com will have more coverage of the Mountaineers' recruiting class of 2011 all day Wednesday, including the comments of head coach Bill Stewart following his press conference, which is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

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