Elijah St. Hilaire, a wide receiver prospect from Palisades Park, N.J., heard from West Virginia recently, and after a quick film review, set up a trip to the WVU campus.
"About three weeks ago, Coach Bedenbaugh got in touch with me. I got some film out to him, and after they looked at it they said they wanted me to come down to camp and see me in person. I have been emailing back and forth with Coach Bill, because they have been out on a break, but it's all set up for me to go now. He said they will be taking at least four or five wide receivers this year, so I am excited to go and show them what I can do.
"West Virginia is one of my favorite schools," St. Hilaire continued. " I would love to get an offer. I didn't get the chance to get down there last year, so now that I can I'm excited about it. I've watched West Virginia on TV a lot, and I think I suit what they do."
West Virginia offense will be a bit different from the spread it employed in past seasons, but one of the principles of the passing game remains the same – getting players with speed into space. That's right up St. Hilaire's alley.
"The key to my game is my speed," he explained. "That's my main thing; to get into the open field. I'm a kick returner too, so that's another place that I can use it. I have been working on other things like my route running and cuts, and I think those are strengths, too. A couple of years ago, my blocking wasn't good, but I have been working on my stalk blocking since my sophomore year and I think it is coming along. I think I would be a good fit as a slot receiver in the offense – it's kind of made for guys my size. The crossing routes and things in the offense are the same as what we do in high school here."
Although he's just recently received interest from WVU, St. Hilaire already has one tie to the program.
"Brandon Napoleon is a good friend of mine," he said of the New Jersey athlete who recently committed to the Mountaineer program. "He is very excited about that, and he would love for me to come and play with him. We see each other at combines and camps, but we don't play each other during the season, so it would be great to get a chance to play with him."
Although St. Hilaire knows that his performance at the camp could go a long way toward an offer, he doesn't think the pressure will bother him.
"I've been to camps at Connecticut and Cincinnati this year, and at all of the camps they told me I was one of the best wide receivers there. I think I would have gotten an offer from Cincinnati, but they had several commits on the day I was there, so I think I got caught up in a numbers game. I know what I need to do and show at camps, so I'm not worried about that. I have learned to deal with whatever pressure there is, and to be honest that's why I like going to different camps. I like to have different competition and go up against the best players. That's a great experience for me. I just need to be an outstanding receiver and show them what I can do."