'WVU Has Always Been at the Top of My List'

Chaney (OH) defensive end Keilen Dykes says WVU has always been on his list of favorite schools, and on Monday night he decided to go ahead and commit to the Mountaineers.

"WVU has always been up there at the top of my list," Dykes told BlueGoldNews.com after returning from a Chaney practice session. "My Dad liked it too, so it was a pretty easy decision. It's always good to keep the parents happy, too!"

Dykes was very familiar with the WVU campus, having camped at West Virginia last year and making unofficial visits since, and it didn't take long for the facilities and location to grab his attention.

He also quickly forged bonds with his recruiter, co-defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, and defensive line coach Paul Randolph.

"I liked Coach Randolph from the start. He was real easy to talk to, and he said I'd have the opportunity to compete from the start. I just hit it off with him from the beginning."

Dykes is the third player from the Youngstown area to commit to WVU in recent weeks. Boardman defensive end Mike Villagrana and Fitch cornerback Davanzo Tate have also pedged to become Mountaineers.

"I've talked with Davanzo a lot over the summer," Dykes said. "In fact, we play them tomorrow night, so I'm sure we'll get to visit some more. That's always a good game.

"I haven't talked to Mike, because I didn't see him over the summer, but I'm sure we'll talk at some point."

Dykes is being mentioned in almost every preseason preview covering Chaney High School, and he doesn't mind the spotlight.

"I need to be a leader on this team. We have the size and speed to make a run in the state playoffs, and that's something I want to help us do. Leaders don't lead from the back, they lead from the front. I want to be at the front."

Dykes is showing his leadership off the field as well. He took summer school classes this year to help meet NCAA qualifying requirements, and expects to be fully qualified by the time he enrolls at WVU next fall, where he plans to major in sports management or something else in the sports arena.

On the field, Dykes uses a variety of weapons from his defensive end position to get to the quarterback, which he did 18 times as a junior. In fact, he thinks that it's the variety that makes him tough to counteract.

"I can bring both speed and strength. I can use my quickness to get around blockers, and I can bull rush when I have to.

"Getting to the quarterback is the best part about playing defense," Dykes said with obvious relish. "It's definitely a highlight."

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