Working For Offers

After his visit to West Virginia, this versatile defender believes he would fit well in the Mountaineer scheme.

Penn Hills' Barry Church, who visited WVU for the Virginia Tech game, had rave reviews for the Mountaineer facilities.

"I thought it was a great school," said the well-spoken Church. "The football compound was wonderful. I loved the weight area, and the way all the benches were set up and all of the room they have in there."

Church wasn't just looking at the buildings and equipment, however. He also watched the WVU coaching staff and observed their interactions and demeanors, and again liked what he saw.

"The coaches were fun and energetic," he said. "That's my type of coach. My high school coach is like that. He is a little bit older [than WVU's coaches], but he has the same sort of attitude. He makes it fun."

Like many of the potential recruits that attend Mountaineer games, Church was also taken with the support provided by the fans. He "loved how the fans were into the game", and noted that the loss didn't dampen his enthusiasm for what he saw.

To this point, Church has offers from a number of MAC schools, but he expects more offers to come his way once more of his senior film is evaluated. As of now, West Virginia, Iowa, Maryland and North Carolina State are showing the most interest in the versatile defender. He has offers from Toledo, Kent, Miami (Oh), and Eastern and Central Michigan, and has visited the Rockets for a game.

Church, who plays wide receiver on offense as well as strong safety on defense, is leading his team with four interceptions and 35 tackles. He notes that while he could play several different positions, different schools are looking at him at different spots.

"Maryland is looking at me as an outside linebacker, but at West Virginia I think I would start out at the safety where Mike Lorello plays," said Church, referring to the bandit position. "I could play the other side or linebacker too, but I like playing back at safety. It lets me see the field better."

Church also likes that safety spot because it lets him draw a bead on runners and be aggressive in run support, which is his strong suit. Although he likes playing on offense in high school, he knows that his college future lies on the defensive side of the ball.

So far this year, Church's Penn Hills squad is 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference. He believes that he is "playing well" and has just sent some additional senior game films out to several schools, including WVU. The Mountaineers could be close to an offer for Church, who says he will be setting up official visits this weekend, including, he hopes, one for West Virginia.

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