Two Ties

A Georgia defender has West Virginia high on his list. How close might the Mountaineers be to getting a commitment from a player that is very familiar with the 3-3-5 defensive alignment?

Mays (Atlanta, Ga.) High School's Darrius Caldwell has known about West Virginia for some time, and it was a tie to a former player that first sparked his interest in the school.

"Adam Jones is a friend of the family, and when he was playing at West Virginia we watched their games and followed them," Caldwell related. "When we watched them, they were running a 3-3-5 defense. At that time, I was playing defensive end, and I liked that defense a lot. It fit what I was doing."

The passage of time did nothing to cool Caldwell's interest in West Virginia, and the Mountaineers returned that. WVU offered Caldwell earlier this spring, and remains in regular contact with him.

"Coach Galloway is my recruiter, and he's a good guy," Caldwell said. "I think he's a very good coach. When I talk to him, he tells me about the school, and he always reminds me that West Virginia was my first offer."

Offers from other schools, including South Carolina, North Carolina State, UCF, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi, Illinois, Mississippi State, Buffalo, Georgia Tech, Virginia and Marshall have followed, according to Caldwell, but he has been narrowing that list down. His favorites now include of West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi and UCF.

"I want to visit West Virginia, but I haven't been able to yet because of my mom's work schedule. Also, we have five Saturday games this year, so it might be hard to set something up during the season," Caldwell said. "I would have liked to make my decision before season started, but kept getting offers. I don't have a timetable yet, and I haven't set any of my official visits."

Despite that, Caldwell remains very interested in West Virginia.

"They are a unique team. I saw they were one of the first teams to run the spread, and the 3-3-5 defense. Not too many teams run that. It's evident they recruit good players and have good coaching."

WVU's use of the 3-3-5 continues to intrigue Caldwell. He has played both defensive end and outside linebacker for Mays, which will employ both a 3-4 and 3-3-5 look this year.

"I had eight sacks a year ago, and I think I play the pass very well," he said. "I'm working on playing against run better. My major goal is to be more consistent this year and to make more plays."

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