Acid Test

For players with numerous scholarship offers, or for those that have already made a commitment, summer football camps are a chance to learn and improve. However, for those players still striving to earn offers, they can be crucibles in which their collegiate futures are forged.

At West Virginia's rising senior camp on Sunday, commitments such as Tajh Boyd, Logan Heastie and Deon Long will renew personal acquaintances with the the coaching staff and do some recruiting of their own to help build WVU's class of 2009. For another group of players, however, the camp will be something entirely different.

"This weekend is big for me," Edison High School's Stephon Robertson said as he prepared to travel to West Virginia for Sunday's rising senior camp. "I've been working and preparing for this camp for the last few weeks. I know it's important that I have a good camp so I can show everyone what I can do."

Robertson, like many talented players entering their senior season, is still working toward getting offers. The fact that he doesn't have one from West Virginia yet isn't a knock on his ability, however. It's simply a reflection of the fact that coaches often want the chance to see players in person before making an offer. That's a two-way street as well -- by making the trip to a camp, a player demonstrates his interest in a school, and coaches get to see the player, both on and off the field, to get read on the many factors that go into the decision to offer.

Robertson, a Virginia native, has been influenced by two of West Virginia's current commitments.

"Tajh and Logan I have been talking, and they are a big reason why I still have an interest in West Virginia. They have good relationships witht he coaching staff, and they are telling me that it will be a great place to play. I am very excited about this weekend and the chance that it gives me."

While all this might seem to make the one-day camp a pressure-packed event, Robertson doesn't see it that way at all.

"I don't know what what's going to happen, but that's what makes it fun," he said of the possibility of garnering an offer this weekend. "I know I have the ability to play there. I just need to showcase my talents."


Robertson, like the rest of the Virginia contingent that has committed to West Virginia is impressed with assistant coach Chris Beatty, calling him "cool and laid back".

At six feet and 200 pounds, Robertson could play either linebacker or safety in college. He counts excellent technique and field coverage as his strengths. As a junior, Robertson accounted for 149 tackles, intercepted three passes, and recovered two fumbles.

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