Keen Eye

West Virginia continued player evaluation during its team camp this week when an assistant coach observed high schools from two boardering states with multiple prospects.

An offensive assistant watched Brooke Point (Va.) and Hollidaysburg High (Pa.) drill on WVU's grass practice field. The Mountaineers are reportedly most interested in Hollidaysburg's Justin Gildea, Brandyn Ott and Ryan McGrath, though the staff is prohibited from confirming such details via NCAA rules. Gildea, according to Scout.com staff, is the most polished of the prospects. The cornerback, who is a Pitt fan, runs a 4.61 40-yard dash. At nearly 6-0 and 170-plus pounds, Gildea also plays running back, though projects as a defensive back at the collegiate level. As a sophomore, he made 58 tackles and intercepted four passes. He also blocked three kicks on special teams.

Ott is a fellow defensive back who, at 6-1.5 and 203 pounds, has the body size for the next level. He runs a 4.78 40, however, a number that might need to drop one-tenth of a second for teams to take further notice. His 30.5-inch vertical jump is solid, and his 7.16-second three-cone belies quickness and reacceleration. McGrath is a 6-5, 270-pound offensive tackle. He runs a 5.1 40, and his father was a walk-on at West Virginia while his uncle played for Pitt. He has an ideal frame for tackle, with a good reach, but must gain better technique.

West Virginia was said to be watching a tight end and tailback for Brooke Point, the alma mater of linebacker commit Donovan Miles. Ranked as the 21st best linebacker by Scout.com, Miles attended WVU's camp last year and verballed in early June. He could factor into the recruitment of his two fellow players – if they receive scholarship offers. The tailback with which the Mountaineers are rumored to be evaluating is likely Chase Barnett. Named the Commonwealth District's Offensive Player of the Year, Barnett is the only current Blackhawk in the 1,000-pound club, a measurement of several lifts and what players can amass.

Barnett was also named the Northwest Region Offensive Player of the Year and the Freelance Starr Offensive Player of the Year. Brooke Point was the 2007 Commonwealth District champions. Barnett would be recruited by potential collegiate position coach Chris Beatty, West Virginia's contact in the Virginia area. Beatty coached at Hampton Roads and three area high schools before going to Northern Illinois, then coming to WVU. The tight end remains unknown, though Brooke High did produce prep TE/DE Isaiah Hamlette, who will play at Virginia Tech as a defensive end.

The team camp continues through Saturday, with individual players reporting for camp on Sunday. Among those will be a pair of Scout.com five-star players in running back Tavon Austin (5-8, 170 pounds, 4.47) and Logan Heastie, the No. 1 ranked receiver prospect in the nation. Heastie has already committed to West Virginia, along with three four star players, making it arguably the best start to a class in school history. Other players at camp could commit at any time this weekend. Log on to BlueGoldNews.com for updates.


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