Final Weekend

West Virginia enters the final weekend of the 2007 football recruiting season with a high profile target and several junior college players scheduled to be on campus.

Face it. Before the season, and even during it, you didn't think West Virginia had a chance in the world at Noel Devine. However, with the calendar flipping toward Signing Day, WVU looks to be no worse than an even-money candidate for the all-everything running back from North Fort Myers, Fla. Devine, who attracted interest from every major school in the country, is visiting WVU this weekend, and has said that it's a two-team race between West Virginia and Florida State at this point.

There are a couple of kickers in this story, however. First, Devine is not yet qualified, although both he and his coach believe he can post the necessary test scores and GPA to meet those marks required by the NCAA's sliding scale. And if he does, his improvements are almost assured to be questioned by the NCAA Clearinghouse, which means there is probably a lot of drama yet to play out in this game. Should Devine not qualify, he would likely attend a prep school, where he could work to raise his GPA and test scores.

The second is that Devine might choose to not signing on Signing Day, which really isn't a day, but almost two months. Players can sign letters of intent (LOI) any time during this period, so Devine, or any other player, doesn't have to sign that LOI on the first day.

A player who could educate Devine on the ins and outs of the military prep school life, Asa Chapman, is also scheduled to visit. Chapman (6-5, 340 lbs.) committed to Virginia out of high school, but came up short in qualifying and spent a year at Fork Union Military Academy. Chapman was recruited by West Virginia out of high school, so the Mountaineers know all about his quick feet and nimble moves along the defensive line. Like Devine, he still has work to do in the qualifying arena, but if he makes it he could be a welcome addition to Bill Kirelawich's front.

West Virginia is also welcoming more junior college players on the final weekend. After hosting juco cornerback Ted Riley two weekends ago, WVU is now hosting a pair of Mississippi juco players. Michael Bibbs, of Copiah-Lincoln, a safety who could easily move to linebacker, and Archie Sims, a talented linebacking prospect from Jones County, could both provide immediate help.

Wide receiver Charles Matthews of Solon, Ohio, is also expected in for his first look at the West Virginia program, and with the defection of former commitment Kyrus Lanxter, the Mountaineers do look ready to take one more wide receiver in this year's class. Matthews has already received an offer from the Mountaineers, and could commit after his visit this weekend.

The final potential visitor, Cedric Everson, was originally committed to Georgia Tech, but that deal fell through, leaving Everson to look for another school. He could visit either West Virginia or Michigan State this weekend.

Rounding out the list are verbal commitments Vince Harris and quarterback Brandon Hogan, both of whom have stayed true to the Mountaineer program through its coaching turnover.

Several prospective walk-on candidates, including those from Morgantown and University High Schools, are also expected in for the weekend. Morgantown defensive back Derek Long is one local player who is expected to be a preferred walk-on next fall.

BlueGoldNews.com will have more from this weekend's visits, including exclusive interviews, to take you right up to Signing Day next Wednesday.


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