Stockpiling Talent

Operating on the theory that you can't have too many quarterbacks or running backs, West Virginia continues to stockpile, evaluate and recruit players at both of those high visibility positions. Yet another of those skill position players is returning the Mountaineers' interest.

Elusive Isaiah Pead of Eastmoor Academy in Columbus, Ohio, is another in the group of quick runners being targeted by the Mountaineer coaching staff. West Virginia paid a visit to Eastmoor recently, but missed Pead, as he was off competing in a track meet. It's Pead's understanding that WVU discussed a scholarship offer with his coach.

"I don't have one in writing, but they talked to my coach about one," the strongly-built runner said. "They said they have a strong interest in me."

That fact has made Pead's decision on a college choice much more difficult. Once firmly set on attending Ohio State if the Buckeyes offered, he now realizes there are many more opportunities for him on the college level.

"I have gotten a lot of offers recently, and with so many offers out there, it has made recruiting a lot more difficult," he said. "I am going to see as many schools as I can and figure out what I like about each one. I am planning on taking the Ted Ginn bus tour this summer, and that goes to about 14 different schools. I am also trying to get over to West Virginia, too."

Pead, a bundle of energy and moves on the field, counts a pair of attributes as the major factors for his success. One of those is a trait you don't hear a lot of players mention when asked to list their strengths.

"My awareness and quickness are probably two of my best strengths," he said. "I know how to read a defense or a player coming in for the tackle. I want them to make them miss. I will take a tackler on if I have to, but I'd rather avoid the hit."

At five feet, 11 inches and 188 pounds, Pead has the size to do that if necessary, and his 4.5 speed and deceptive moves make him difficult to draw a bead on in the open field. The 4.5 might be a bit deceptive, as he has run a personal best 10.8 in the 100 meters. He also runs the 200 and the 400 further displaying his speed and stamina.

On the football field, his numbers are just as impressive. As a junior, he had 173 carries for 1750 yards and 23 touchdowns. He added another score on a kick return. He also has played on the defensive side of the ball, manning a safety spot as a junior and cornerback as a sophomore. He had 39 tackles and three interceptions from the safety position in 2006.

"I would rather play offense, but I will do anything to get on the field," said Pead, who could certainly excel on either unit on the college level.

For now, Pead will continue to gather information on the schools that are recruiting him. He has no plans to make an early decision, instead preferring to visit as many schools as possible. He notes, however, that he didn't realize how much time the recruiting process could take up.

"It has been a lot," he noted. "I want to find out as much about the schools as I can. The location of the school is one factor, but other than that I am pretty open fight now. I will probably start narrowing things down once I begin getting invites for official visits [in the fall]."

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