However, the Mountaineers were always the leader for the Eden Prairie, Minn., QB, so it wasn't a surprise when he called head coach Bill Stewart to commit to WVU.
"We were all excited when I got the offer, but my parents wanted me to be sure of my decision," said Brian Athey, who exudes leadership. "They told me this was where I was going to be for the next four or five years, so that I needed to make sure everything was o.k. We checked out the academics, and it was in line with what I wanted it to be. So I called Coach Stewart and told him I was coming to West Virginia."
After getting the offer from WVU, Athey began receiving interest from other schools as well. Both Indiana and Wisconsin were on the verge of offering scholarships, and the temptation was surely there to see if other schools might follow. However, Athey wasn't interested in getting offers just for the sake of piling them up.
"It wasn't important to me to have a bunch of offers. I'm not that kind of person. I didn't need a lot of offers written down on my page," he said, showing another admirable quality. "I wanted to get offers from places that wanted me, and from where I would be a good fit. West Virginia is that, and I am looking forward to coming there and competing."
Of course, WVU will be stocked at the QB position when Athey arrives. Geno Smith will be a junior, and Barry Brunetti and Jeremy Johnson will likely still be competing for position, with Coley White also on the depth chart. That doesn't concern Athey, who shows just the right mix of confidence and competitive spirit to be a player in the competition.
"I know about the players there, and they are great quarterbacks," Athey said. "But I am coming there to compete and play. I know I will have to work hard, and I might redshirt, but I will compete. I'm looking forward to continuing the strong tradition of quarterback play at West Virginia."
Before that happens, Athey has his senior year of high school to complete. Does the commitment to WVU change the way in which he will prepare and view his senior season?
"In a way it does, because I know I have that ahead of me. I will have to work harder and get stronger and build myself up. I'm a team captain this year, and I know I have to be a leader, so I will work that much harder to help my team this year and get myself ready for college."
Athey's grandfather, WVU radio color man Dwight Wallace, received the news of Athey's commitment with the even keel he has displayed throughout the recruiting process.
"He was happy, but the first thing he said was, "Welcome to Division I football," Athey said with a laugh. "He told me I would have to work really hard to get ready and prepare myself."
Wallace has already worked with Athey on film study and many of the mental aspects of quarterback play.
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Athey is also a baseball star, but at this point does not plan to try the sport in college. He wants to focus all of his attention and energy on football.