Familiar Ground

A Maryland junior linebacker who is very familiar with West Virginia's program made a trip to campus to take in the Mountaineers' season opening win over Villanova, and got some good news on his visit.

Junior linebacker Nick Forbes of Governor Thomas Johnson High School has been to WVU several times, including visits for football camp and a spring scrimmage, and this latest visit confirmed his serious interest in the Mountaineer program.

"I do like the things West Virginia has to offer," Forbes said as he recapped his visit. "I like the coaches a lot, and I felt like the whole campus was really down to earth. There's a good personal connection between the coaches and the players."

Although Forbes is familiar with WVU, he still took the tour of the football complex, met with the coaches and some players, and then took in the contest.

"I saw the new locker room that they just finished, and it was really nice. I liked that a lot. We also got to go in the locker room and listen to Coach Stewart's speech. That was really good too."

Forbes also met with defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, who had some good news waiting for the versatile defender.

"He told me I would have a scholarship offer in the mail on Monday, so I'm looking forward to that," he said. "I have offers from Boston College and Maryland too, but I haven't started narrowing down my choice of schools or anything like that yet. I've visited Pitt, Maryland and Syracuse, but I haven't been to BC yet."

Forbes, who is being recruited by the schools on his list as a linebacker, is also playing running back at his high school, and is finding more success at that position.

"Last year I rushed for 1000 yards on about 100 carries and had ten touchdowns, and just split time at running back. It was my first year on the varsity, and I was still a little timid. Over the summer I have been working on making better cuts, and my understanding on how the defense attacks you, and I think I will do much better this year."

Forbes is following in the footsteps of current Mountaineer Terence Kerns, who starred at the school just a couple of years ago.

"My freshman year was his senior year, and I definitely have a good relationship with him," Forbes described. "I watched him a lot, and tried to take some of the things he did and learn from them. When he injured his knee, they moved me up to varsity, and he talked to me a lot and helped me get ready. He gave me a lot of tips on what to do in different situations, and that really helped. I got to talk to him a few minutes on Saturday, too."

As he improves at running back, Forbes could get more interest on that side of the ball, but it's his skills at linebacker than have most colleges' interest. His ability to cover ground and get to the ball from his outside backer position makes him very valuable against today's speed offenses, so it won't be a surprise to see him piling up more offers over the next year.

When Forbes does begin narrowing down his list of schools, he will use several factors to begin ranking the candidates.

"First, the school has to offer my major, which is engineering. I'm definitely going to do something in that field. Next is the football program. I need to see how I will fit in; how I relate to the coaches and players. That's very important to me. And I want to have a campus where I'm comfortable, where I can fit into the environment. Frederick (Md.) where I'm from, is a small city, so I think I could be ok in a place like that or in a bigger city."

Although he did not say so, it would certainly appear that WVU fits all of his criteria, so expect the Mountaineers to continue to be a strong candidate in the recruiting race for his services.


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