Workout Warrior

The latest in the group of offensive linemen to receive a scholarship offer from West Virginia was wowed by the weight room and fans at Saturday's Gold-Blue game.

Walsh Jesuit High School's Nick Schepis paid his first visit to the West Virginia campus last weekend, and was very impressed with the Puskar Center's strength and conditioning center.

"I loved my visit," said the Ohio native. "I really liked it down there. The facilities were fantastic, and the weight room was unbelievable. They said it was one of the biggest in the nation, and they have a great strength and conditioning program.

"That's very important to me," said Schepis, who obviously knows his way around a weight room. "That is something I am very into at my high school. My strength and conditioning coach, Rick Massaro, puts us through a lot of the same workouts that we saw at West Virginia. Benches, squats, power cleans – many of those things are similar to what they do at WVU. We really work on core strength."

Schepis (6-3, 280 lbs., 5.06) has been to spring drills and junior days at several schools, including Syracuse, Miami (Ohio) and Akron, and has offers from the latter two of those universities. He added to that total with an offer from WVU this weekend.

"They called me the week before about an offer, and wanted to get me down on campus," Schepis said. "They made the offer on Saturday, and said they would be following up with a written offer."

In addition to receiving his first BCS-level offer, which was obviously a thrill, Schepis was also impressed by the turnout for West Virginia's spring game.

"This was my first visit to West Virginia, and I think the biggest thing that struck me was the fans – how many of them showed up to see the spring game. They are really passionate about football."

West Virginia has again beaten its competitors to the punch in the offer department, and hopes that the early interest, as well as the good things Schepis saw on his unofficial visit, will result in a commitment. The Ohio lineman isn't quite ready to make that call yet, however.

"I will probably make that decision when it feels right," he said of the recruiting process. I don't know when it will be, but I will try to narrow it down some before season starts. The biggest thing for me is finding the best fit with both academics and athletics, and being comfortable with the coaches and players. I'm going to be spending four or five years at my college, and it won't work out if it's not comfortable for me.

Schepis' spring and summer tour will continue with visits to Wake Forest, Duke and Virginia. He also plans to attend a Nike combine next month, and will likely attend summer camps as well. West Virginia hopes to be on his list for a visit during that time, in order to get a first-hand look at the weight room warrior.

"My lower body strength is one of my strengths," Schepis said, emphasizing the results he's gotten from his weight room work. "We just maxed out on weights, and I squatted 445 pounds 12 times, which is the equivalent of a 635 one-time squat. Our coaches stress perfect technique, too, so if it isn't perfect, they don't count it."

Schepis also counts his athleticism and aggressiveness off the ball as other qualities that help him stand out at Walsh Jesuit, where he plays both offensive tackle and defensive end. He knows he is slated for an offensive line spot in college, and plans to continue his weight room work to prepare him for his senior season, as well as the auditions coming up at camps and combines.

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