Quick Response

It didn't take long for West Virginia's latest football verbal commitment to say yes when he received an offer from the Mountaineer coaching staff.

After participating in two of WVU's football camps, Bridgeport High School's Wes Tonkery got the call he was waiting for on Monday when the Mountaineers called with an offer. West Virginia, for its part, got the response it was looking for immediately.

"My high school coach called me on Monday and told me to call the coaches at West Virginia," Tonkery related. "I did, and I talked to Coach Dunlap, and he said that they had an offer for me. I told them immediately that I was accepting it, and that I was verbally committing. That was the offer that I was hoping for, and although I didn't want to depend on it coming, I was really happy when it did. It wasn't tough for me to accept right then."

Tonkery, whose team competed in West Virginia's seven on seven passing camp, viewed Sunday's one-day camp as critical for his offer.

"I knew it was important that I do well in the testing and the one-on-ones," he said. "I knew that I had to show what I could do."

Tonkery did well enough to edge closer to an offer, but after talking with the coaches on the field on Sunday, still wasn't sure if it was coming. It only took one more day, however, before that offer came his way.

Prior to that, Tonkery had a fairly standard day at camp. He participated in several skill evaluation drills, then moved into one-on-ones, where he played his projected position of safety. His performance there clearly solidified his position as a Division I player, and led to the offer from the Mountaineer staff.

Although WVU hasn't talked to him about one specific safety position of the three it employs in its defense, Tonkery isn't concerned about his potential college spot.

"They didn't really talk about it, other than just being at safety," he confirmed. "I didn't worry about that."

Tonkery's size and frame could allow him to play at any of the three positions, depending on how he fills out over the next two or three years. He could start out at the free position and then move down to bandit or spur depending on his strengths in WVU's system.

As a junior, Tonkery recorded more than 1,300 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns at running back. Defensively, he had two interceptions, taking one back for a score.

"We don't really throw the ball, so I don't have much on receiving stats," he said with a laugh. "But we did finish third in WVU's seven-on-seven passing tournament, so that does show we could pass if we have to. We just don't do it."

Tonkery's family, Mountaineer fans all, were very excited with his commitment. His lifelong fan status ("I watch every WVU game") makes his verbal commitment a strong one.

"This is a solid verbal," he said. It was the offer I was waiting for."

A good student who plans to major in engineering, Tonkery expects no trouble in meeting NCAA qualifying standards.

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