Big Gap

West Virginia's first home game in a month is providing an opportunity for several football recruits to check out the Mountaineer program. However, with high school seasons in full swing and many prospects holding off on the process until the end of their senior seasons, the numbers for a mid-October game aren't quite as high as what one might expect.

Verbal commitments expected to attend include offensive linemen Donny Barclay and junior Josh Jenkins (WVU's first commit in the Class of 2008). Virginia quarterback Bradley Starks is also set to make a visit, along with hometown commitments Junius Lewis and Charlie Russell. In addition, invited walk-on commitment C.J. Huffman of Hurricane is scheduled to make his first trip to WVU following his pledge to join the Mountaineer program.

As usual, the visit list is dominated by players from nearby states that can make the trip after playing on Friday night. No fewer than five players from the state of Ohio are expected, and all are defensive prospects. Linebacker Vince Harris of LaSalle (Cincinnati) is the lone big man in the group, and will be joined by four defensive backfield prospects. Fairborn safety Josh Copeland, Bishop Walsh (Akron) cornerback Mark Wooldridge, Kilbourne (Columbus) corner Derrick Henry and Pickerington corner Brian Peters will all get close up looks at Mountaineer gameday. Henry (running back) and Peters (wide receiver) are also being evaluated on the offensive side of the ball.

A pair of Pennsylvania prospects from two renowned schools is also scheduled to make the trip for the WVU – Syracuse game -- tight end Matt Balasavage of Lancaster High and defensive lineman Joe Rash of Penn Hills (Pittsburgh).

Two linemen from neighboring states will also be in for a visit. Sam Griffin of highly regarded Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey, and junior lineman Jeff Braun of Winters Mills High in Westminster, Md. are slated to be on hand for the noon contest. Braun turned a number of heads with his performance at West Virginia's summer football camp.

Several in-state players who are still working for offers or invited walk-on status are also expected for the game. Among the regulars in that group are wide receiver J.T. Lewis and defensive back Derek Long of Morgantown, and lineman Travis Buttrey of Williamstown. Lewis and Long are teammates of Russell and Lewis at Morgantown High.

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