Prior to Thursday, Wake Forest (NC) Heritage linebacker Drake Thomas had never heard from West Virginia. No letters, no visits, no nothing. Even after receiving his offer, he has not spoken with anyone on the staff (due to NCAA rules that require 2019 prospects to call the coaches first). So, why was he so "very excited" about the news and already talking about visits to campus?
Well, because he has extensive ties to the state that have made him a lifelong fan of the program.
"My family is actually from Fairmont, West Virginia, so they were kind of my hometown team," said the 6-foot, 225-pounder. "I've always watched them growing up. I've had a lot of family members go to WVU, too, including my mom."
Thomas says that he will be up to visit family members soon, and intends to swing by campus when he's there.
"I do plan on visiting, and I visit frequently, so it should be easy," he said. "All my extended family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - live there."
West Virginia joins Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and several others in the pursuit of the talented 2019 recruit. The family ties should help, but Thomas will be looking at a variety of factors when making his college decision.
"I think academics are important, but I also want to go somewhere where football is tradition, and somewhere I feel like I am a good fit," he said.