Local Ties

The West Virginia football program already has one instate commitment in the fold for the recruiting class of 2007, but the Mountaineer coaching staff isn't standing pat on that number.

In addition to quarterback Charlie Russell, who has already given WVU a verbal commitment, WVU is also looking at several other in-state prospects that will be seniors this fall. One of those, Nitro High School's Chad Snodgrass, paid a recent visit to the WVU campus and came away even more impressed with West Virginia's burgeoning program.

"I love Morgantown, and I've been a fan of West Virginia my whole life," said the cheery Snodgrass, who has accompanied his father to many trips to West Virginia games as he grew up in the Mountain State. "I have gone to a lot of games there, but this gave me the chance to see more about the program.

"I wanted to watch practice and get the feeling of how things go there," said Snodgrass of his visit last Saturday on one of WVU's junior days. "I wanted to see how they run things, and I just loved it. It was high intensity."

Snodgrass, who played mostly guard on offense last year before moving out to tackle for the playoffs, is starting to get interest from a number of schools. He has just one offer so far, from Marshall, but says that he hopes one will be forthcoming soon from the state's flagship institution.

"The coaches at West Virginia are saying they are very interested in me, and that they want to come to Nitro to visit, and come to my house for a visit," he said eagerly. "I hope that means there will be an offer coming from them soon. My dad and I have always been fans of both [in-state] schools, and had gone to games at both schools, but I like the intensity of game day at West Virginia."

In addition to the two home state institutions, Snodgrass is getting more and more interest from a number of other Division 1 schools.

"As a sophomore I was getting interest from mostly Division II schools, but as soon as summer came on, I started getting more looks," the affable lineman noted. "Having Josh Culbertson in the backfield helped a lot, because people that came to watch him also saw us blocking for him.

"I've been hearing from Maryland, Tennessee, Illinois, Wake Forest, Penn State, Boise State, Colorado, Cincinnati and Nebraska," Snodgrass listed. "One of our assistants, Coach McClain, is from Nevada, which is where the interest from the western schools comes from. I'll probably ride out with him to camps there this summer."

Snodgrass has a very busy summer planned. In addition to attending a Scout.com combine in May, he will also take in a Nike combine before making camping stops at Penn State, Tennessee, Maryland, Wake Forest, and, of course, WVU. Add in the western swing and much of his vacation will be spent on the road or taking instruction at stops across much of the U.S. However, Snodgrass looks forward to the opportunities that each camp will bring.

"I went to Glenville State's camp and learned a lot last summer," he recalled. "There were a lot of little things that they spotted, like my butt being too high [in my stance], or that I was making my first step too long. They spotted those things right off, and it definitely helped me last year."

Snodgrass hopes his busy camp schedule, which will include instruction from several outstanding line coaches, yields similar improvement for his senior year. While he knows that he will be getting the once over from those coaches from a recruiting standpoint, he also is trying to keep his concentration on the task at hand – some unfinished business from a year ago.

"I try not to think about the recruiting part of it right now – I want to concentrate on getting back to state championship game and winning it this year," said Snodgrass, whose Wildcat team lost to Morgantown in last year's AAA final. "I haven't thought about a schedule yet for making my decision."


Snodgrass moved to tackle last year to help bolster Nitro's outside running attack, which was an emphasis during the playoffs.

"I may stay out there this year," he noted. "And I will continue to play nose guard on defense."

Asked if he had a preference for one side over the other, he never hesitated while responding with a firm ‘No'.

"I just love to play football."

* * *

Snodgrass' strength is in his pass blocking skills. He has yet to give up a sack in his high school career. His mental discipline isn't bad either, as he has been flagged only three times – once for holding, and twice for false starts – during his time at Nitro.

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