Tie-ing It Up

A pair of ties to West Virginia's football program provided the impetus for John Propst's commitment to the Mountaineers.

Propst, a native of Georgia who moved to Hoover, Ala., prior to his seventh grade season, watched an Alabama native son change the West Virginia program. It's not much of a surprise, and it's a story that figures to be repeated over the next several years as WVU recruits inside that state.

"I watched West Virginia play the past several years, and one of the reasons I watched was Pat White, who is from Alabama," said the Hoover High School rising senior. "I started getting more interest from West Virginia when Pat Miller was being recruited, and I saw Coach Lockwood when he was down here. West Virginia saw my film and got interested in me, and I got an offer around the end of February. That was my first offer, and they stayed in touch me.

"This past weekend I went up and visited. I met with the coaches and got to talk with them a lot, and I got to see all of the facilities. I also met with one of the academic advisers, and we talked about the engineering program and everything they have to offer. I liked just about everything about it. Everything there was about Mountaineer football, and I really loved listening to Coach Stewart when he was talking about the Mountaineer way."

There was only one small negative to Propst's visit, but it didn't come close to countering all of the great things he saw about the West Virginia program.

"The minus was the distance, but after we got back home I talked with my parents about that, and it ended up not being a problem," he revealed. "They were happy with everything, so I decided to go ahead and commit."

Propst's friendship with Miller sparked some of his interest in West Virginia, but it wasn't one of the bigger factors in his decision, although it certainly will be a bonus for him to have a friendly face awaiting him when he arrives on campus next summer.

"I didn't talk to him that much about his choice, but I know that he chose West Virginia over a lot of other good schools. I talked with him about a week before I went up, and I knew how much he liked it there."

Propst is one of an expected four linebackers in the Class of 2010, and his versatility is one of the strong suits that led to the offer from WVU. He figures to follow the path of Reed Williams, who started as an outside backer before moving inside. He has the football savvy to learn all of the positions of defense – and attribute that certainly doesn't hurt in the quest for playing time.

"I got to talk with Reed on my visit, and we talked about the game atmosphere, where the players live, how they balance their schedules, – a lot of stuff about their everyday schedules," Propst added. "Coach Casteel said they would probably start me out like they did Reed. I think I can do that."

In addition to his football smarts, Propst counts his full speed ahead style of play as one of his strongest points.

"I love playing downhill, and I really like playing against the run," he said, evoking the ethos of any middle linebacker with a taste for contact. I can pass cover too, because I played outside as a freshman. But I am a hard hitter, and I like playing on the inside."

Propst, who also attended junior days at LSU and Vanderbilt and made an unofficial trip to UAB, said that he is not considering any other schools. He plans to use one of his official visits to come to West Virginia, and hopes, schedule permitting, to get to a game as well. He is not planning any other camp visits this summer.

NOTES

Propst is also a standout baseball player, but has not decided whether or not he will play next spring. Hoover High School runs a nearly year-round football and conditioning program.

* * *

As a junior, Propst had 93 tackles, with 19 of those coming behind the line, and five sacks. He also had one interception. with 9 solo, 19 tackles for a loss of 67 yards and five sacks for 34 yards, and one interception.


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