Recruiting Begins Anew With Junior Day

After a well earned break of approximately 15 minutes, the Mountaineer football staff is diving headfirst into recruiting the Class of 2003. The first big event on the list is this Saturday's Junior Day.

Of course, all visits on this day are unofficial, which means that nothing can be paid for by WVU. Still, the coaches expect a large turnout for Saturday's event.

"We had eighty or so in last year, and we've already got more than 100 confirmations for this Saturday," said WVU recruiting coordinator Herb Hand. "I expect we'll have between 150 and 175 in by the time it's all said and done."

With the visits being unofficial, the majority of juniors travelling to the football complex figure to be from West Virginia and neighboring states. However, that doesn't stop the coaches from inviting players from other areas. Players from Mobile, Alabama, and Dallas, Texas are expected to be among those on campus on Saturday for their first inside look at what the Mountaineer football program has to offer.

As to what they'll see on Saturday, Coach Hand explains that there are some similarities between junior day and official recruiting visits.

"We try to show them as much as we can, but it's not as intense as an official visit. The juniors will meet with the strength staff, with our position and recruiting coaches, and also hear a talk from Coach Rodriguez. We also have meetings set up with academic counselors to talk to them about their areas of study."

Since nothing, including meals and lodging, can be provided by WVU, activities are scheduled for one day so that players can get in and out with a minimum of personal expense. And should a player be unable to attend this Saturday, future days are planned for junior visits, including the Saturday of the Gold-Blue game on April 20.

WVU's junior days have already had an impact on the freshman class scheduled to arrive this fall. One player who participated in junior day last year, Tim Lindsey of Bridgeport, is scheduled to enroll and begin practice as an invited walkon this fall. The Mountaineer coaching staff hopes that the continued success and growth of their junior days only adds to that number.

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