Rounding Out the Class

While everyone focuses on final decisions by a handful of players and tomorrow's signing day activity, there is another batch of footballers that will be making their decisions mostly below the radar in the coming days and weeks.

Those players are walkons, and more specifically, invited walkons. Everyone knows the rich tradition of non-scholarship players at West Virginia, and despite the race to secure the services of highly-recruited and -regarded athletes, there is still a great deal of attention being paid to those players who are willing to come to WVU without benefit of a grant-in-aid.

Last weekend, thirteen walkon candidates checked out the West Virginia program, and hopes are that a good percentage of those will choose to attend WVU this fall. And despite what many media outlets would have you believe, a great number of those hail from within the borders of the Mountain State.

One player giving consideration to WVU is FB/LB John Hardison of George Washington High School in Charleston, W. Va. Hardison (6-0, 220 lbs.), a tough blocker and physical tackler, was a first team AAA all-state selection on defense.

Another player at that position to keep an eye on is Brian Henderson of Brooke High School in Wellsburg, W.Va. At six feet, two inches and 235 pounds, Henderson shouldn't be at a size disadvantage at either spot.

The line wasn't overlooked, as big Tyler McGraw (6-4, 275 lbs.) is on WVU's list as well. McGraw has good mobility, and is also a wrestler for Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, W. Va.

Also getting interest is Matewan's Tyrone Wilder, a running back and defensive back prospect from Matewan, W. Va. Wilder, who rushed for more than 2000 yards in 2004, was a first team Class A all-state selection.


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