No Visit Required

Louisiana's Rashad Roussell had a visit scheduled to West Virginia for later this month, but after a visit from the Mountaineer coaching staff this week, he decided he didn't need to see the WVU campus before making his college choice.

"I hadn't taken my visit to West Virginia yet, but I've got some friends up there, and I talk with them all the time," Roussell said. "Darius Reynaud and I were teammates last year, and he was up there this year. I talked with him a lot.

"I also talked a lot with Coach Rodriguez and Coach Magee. They did a great job recruiting me, and I felt very comfortable with them, so I decided to go ahead and commit."

Roussell will still take his visit to West Virginia on the weekend of January 21st, but has cancelled his other visits.

"I won't be going anywhere else," the energetic defender said. "I'll go to West Virginia, and that's it."

Roussell also has other ties to West Virginia. A longtime friend, Selvish Capers, has committed to WVU, and Roussell is looking forward to playing alongside him.

"Selvish is my boy," Roussell said with good cheer. "We played all star basketball together. I've known him for a long time. We played against each other in football too, so it's going to be cool to play on the same team with him.

Spurred by the efforts of Magee, West Virginia has built something of a pipeline into Louisiana. In addition to Roussell, Capers and Reynaud, the Mountaineers expect to have Tyler Benoit, Craig Wilson and Matt Sinclair on the 2005 roster.

"Coach Magee knows how it is down here," Roussell said of his primary recruiter. "They know this is a great area for football. There are a lot of players down here. We've been talking with each other, and we feel like we can come up and there and take over."

That statement may sound cocky, but it wasn't intended that way at all. Roussell is simply confident that he and his Louisiana mates can have a great impact on the Mountaineer program, and if they can match their high school productivity in the college ranks, they undoubtedly will.

Although Roussell played defensive end in high school, he says he can play either inside or outside in college.

"I'm not the biggest defensive lineman, but I'm pretty strong, said the six-foot, two-inch 270-pounder. I have good hands, and I'm quick off the ball. That's one thing that helps me get to the quarterback. The big guys on the offensive line can't get out to me."

Although Roussell has made his name as a pass rusher, he also is confident in his run stuffing abilities. Saying that he "loves to hit", Roussell believes he can add additional weight in college, which would allow him to play anywhere along the defensive line.

"It doesn't matter to me," he said of his college position. "Inside, outside, on the edge, I think I can play it. I'm 270 pounds now, and I can easily be 290 after a year of college. I can get there no problem and keep my speed. I might even go higher than that, but I want to keep my quickness. I definitely think I have the body to put on that much weight."

Roussell's mother is also happy with his choice, even though her son will be going a fair distance from home. He explains that she left the decision up to him.

"Mom is cool with it. She said, ‘Go where you feel the most comfortable.' She let me know it was my decision and my future, and that I needed to go where I felt the best."

Now that his decision is made, Roussell will concentrate on track, where he throws the discus, and raising his test scores. He is still awaiting the results of his most recent ACT.

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