Dave Preston was a four-year letterman for West Virginia from 1980-84 and served as team captain during his senior year. A stalwart on the Mountaineer defense, Preston has passed along many of his athletic talents to his son, Matt, who made a trip into familiar territory on Nov. 27 to watch West Virginia defeat Pitt in the Backyard Brawl.
Matt is very familiar with the Mountaineer program due to his father's career, and he speaks of West Virginia with zest. He outlined his visit and activities for BlueGoldNews.com.
"I got to talk to Coach Dunlap, and I also spoke with Coach Mullen for a few minutes," said Matt, who plays quarterback and linebacker for Howland High School in Warren, Oh. "I also saw Coach Nehlen, who was my dad's coach. I gave them my highlight film from my senior season, and they said they would watch it and get back with me. I really like West Virginia, and hopefully I have some luck there."
It's clear that Matt would love to have an offer from his father's alma mater, and his versatility could help in that role. WVU has already taken two quarterbacks, and wouldn't be likely to take a third at just that position, but Preston is also a prospect as either an outside linebacker or a strong safety, and he could earn an offer as an athlete at one of those spots.
At six feet, two inches and 205 pounds, Preston would like a shot at quarterback, but he certainly has the size to play either linebacker or strong safety in college. During his senior season, he recorded "five or six" sacks from his linebacker position, and accounted for more than 1100 yards of offense and 13 touchdowns as a quarterback.
With a father who has lived the life of a college football player, Matt has the advantage of a wealth of experience in his home. His father has assisted him greatly, both on and off the field, during his career.
"My dad has helped me a lot in the whole process. He coached me since I was young, and he took me to several different places to work with others. I've been to work with Thom McDaniels (a legendary Ohio high school coach who is the father of head coach Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos). I've also been to several different camps, including Wake Forest.
"He has been through the recruiting process, and he knows how it works, so that's an advantage for me, too," Preston continued. "He knows the process, and he talks to me about it. Having a father that was successful in college motivates me to do well, too."
Matt's experience with the Mountaineer program puts WVU in a good spot should it offer a scholarship.
"I've been around West Virginia since I was young, and I like the way they run things now. It was good when Coach Nehlen was there, too. He coached my dad, and he told me about everything when he was there."
Preston does not have nay offers yet, but hopes that his senior film will lead to more interest. In addition to WVU, Cincinnati, Pitt, Rutgers Coastal Carolina, Akron and Youngstown State have shown interest.