Earning Attention

Summer football camps have become prime time for coaches to check out prized targets in person, but there's still room for players with lower profiles to make a mark, as this Pittsburgh area defender proved recently.

"I just worked really hard and showed them that I had great athletic ability," Shaler Area High School's Mack Stotts said of his visit to WVU's camp. "I think I impressed them a lot, and they liked what I can do. They told me to come back down here, and so I did."

Stotts, who visited WVU unofficially last fall while taking in a practice and a basketball game, drew the coaches' attention with his excellent change of direction skills and solid frame. Stotts rotates his hips quickly and reacts very well to the moves of opposing wide receivers, a talent that was tapped when he made the move from his linebacker position to defensive back.

"I have played linebacker, but when I came down here to camp they put me with the defensive backs," said the strongly-built Stotts, whose full first name is Mackenzie. "At first, it was a little tough, but I'm a football player. I can learn to do whatever they need me to do. I started to pick up some things quickly and it's like I've been playing [safety] for a while now. The coaches didn't even know I had just made the switch – they were surprised when they found out. It was a shock to them, but they realized I had the talent to do it."

Stotts is now a prospect in the secondary, and is beginning to draw notice from other schools in addition to West Virginia. The combination of his ability to stop the run, which he developed at outside linebacker, meshes nicely with his pass coverage skills and makes him an interesting prospect, especially for teams with multiple safety positions.

Louisville, Boston College, Illinois and a number of MAC schools have shown interest, and Stotts said that Louisville and Akron are in the process of making offers. He still has strong interest in West Virginia, and professed to being impressed with the entire atmosphere around the WVU campus.

"I get a nice feeling being here," Stotts said during his second camp visit to WVU. " It's a nice area, and the coaches are really talkative. I'm really impressed by [WVU's] record and the way the whole area comes together for football. I come from a town that loves football too, and it's great chemistry when that happens."

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