Jake Buccigrossi wasn't a fan of West Virginia, or any particular college team, growing up. While he did watch a lot of games on TV, and is an admitted fan of the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers, he didn't root for any of the local teams in his area.
"I never had a college team, but I watched all of them," Buccigrossi told BlueGoldNews.com after committing to West Virginia. "I just like football, but I never cheered for any team in particular."
That was about the only factor not working in West Virginia's favor when Buccigrossi decided to commit, however. After a pair of visits to WVU, he made what was, to him, the obvious choice.
"There were so many things in favor of WVU," the big lineman said. "The fanbase is great, and the coaching staff is really good. It's close to home, and it has everything I want."
Primarily a run blocker in his high school's ground-based attack, Buccigrossi is confident that his pass protection skills will be ready for the challenge of college.
"Our coaches have us do a lot of work on pass protection, and they emphasize technique, our footwork, all of that," the rising senior noted. "I am very comfortable with what I can do there, and I think my mobility helps me there a lot. Run blocking is more smash-mouth and pass blocking is a little more laid back, but overall there's not that big of a difference.
"When I was down at West Virginia talking to the strength coaches, they said one of their big goals was to keep my mobility and quickness while adding to my body mass. They told me that my mobility is very important, and that I will be able to preserve that."
Buccigrossi will also likely face a position transition when he arrives in Morgantown next summer. After playing offensive tackle for the majority of his career, he'll move inside for West Virginia to a guard spot. While that does entail some differences, the well-spoken senior is again confident that his base skills will carry him to success. Citing his technique basics and aggressive nature, the 6-4, 290-pounder thinks there will be a great deal of carryover from his normal tackle assignments.
Buccigrossi, displaying a no-nonsense attitude about the recruiting process, also indicated he was happy to put it behind him.
"After a while it was kind of tough to deal with," he noted of the process of learning about the many different schools recruiting him. "I wanted to make my decision, and now that I have, this is the end game. My word is a code of honor for me. When I made the verbal commitment, that was my final decision."