Closing the Gap

A Georgia offensive lineman now has two schools at the top of his list after a weekend visit to a new destination.

Steven Singleton, who helped lead Buford High School to an undefeated regular season and into the third round of the playoffs, made a trip to West Virginia over the weekend to check out the Mountaineer program. Like many players making their first visit to WVU, Singleton found some surprises on his trip.

"I knew they had good facilities there, but I thought [before I went] that it was in the middle of nowhere," Singleton said. "But it was really the opposite. It's a good college town, and my visit was really nice. It wasn't what I expected at all."

During his visit, Singleton found the emphasis on "Mountaineer Family" held true throughout the entire program.

"All the football players are cool, and it was a good family atmosphere," Singleton recounted. "It seems like the coaches are pulling for the guys and helping them any way they can. And the whole town is behind the school too."

Also aiding the Mountaineer recruiting effort is Thor Merrow, who graduated form Buford last year and signed with WVU in February. Merrow is grayshirting this year, but is still firmly on track to join the West Virginia team.

"I just got off the phone with Thor," Singleton said. "We are good friends, and he was asking me how I liked it there and what I did on my visit."

Before Singleton made his trip to West Virginia, LSU was the dominant leader for his signature. Now, however, the gap has been closed.

"It will come down to LSU and WVU, those two schools," Singleton said. "They are kind of close now. I am not going to take any more visits, and I will make my decision in a week or two. I plan to sit down with my coaches and list everything out, pros and cons, on both sides, and then make my decision."


Singleton's tie with Merrow might seem to be an advantage for West Virginia, but the big lineman also has friends headed to LSU.

"I have some good friends at Stevenson High School that have already committed to LSU," so I have friends I know at both places," the big lineman said.

Buford's undefeated run ended in an agonizing third-round playoff loss.

"We were down 20-0, then rallied to go ahead 21-20," Stevenson said as he recalled the painful season-ending game. "Then we muffed a punt, they scored, and we lost."

A four-star recruit, Stevenson was the Gwinnett county offensive lineman of the year, and also a first-team all-county selection. He has also been picked to play in an all-star contest.

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