Coaching changes are often the impetus for recruiting decommitments, and such was the case for Westerville, Ohio, offensive lineman Rob Dowdy and Pitt. The tall offensive lineman (6-6, 250 lbs.) decommitted from that program in mid-December after head coach Paul Chryst left for Wisconsin, citing uncertainty in the program. That led to a review of other schools who had been pursing him, including Kentucky, North Carolina State and West Virginia, but following this past weekend's official visit to the campus, the Mountaineers came out on top. He tweeted his gratitude to both head coach Dana Holgorsen and offensive line coach Ron Crook before speaking with BlueGoldNews.com about his decision.
"It was tough to decommit but once the coaches left I didn't like the way things were headed," Dowdy said after informing the West Virginia coaches of his choice. "I just wanted to reopen my entire recruiting and take a few more schools into consideration. I started fresh."
Dowdy was familiar with West Virginia and its campus, having visited once before as a junior and staying in contact with the Mountaineer coaches throughout his senior season, so he didn't have to gather a great deal of new information on his visit. He noted that he did learn a lot more about the academic side of his college destination (he plans to be a political science major), but that the athletic side stood out in one regard.
"Everything there is amazing. Every place I've been has good facilities, but the thing that set West Virginia apart was the amount of love that they have for the players and the players for the coaches. They really sacrifice themselves. And the fans are real too. They are dedicated and live."
Offensive lineman Adam Pankey hosted Dowdy on his visit, and their similar backstories combined to give them an immediate rapport."He told me he decommitted from Pitt before committing to West Virginia too, so that gave us some things to talk about and compare," Dowdy noted.
Like most of the remaining recruits in the class, Dowdy anticipates no issues with qualifying. He plans to come to WVU in the summer and take a couple of classes there to get a head start on his career.
"It was pretty easy to make the choice," he said of his WVU pick. "As soon as I got there I felt like it was right to commit."