By Joe Scalzo
West Virginia has been interested in Hubbard junior Matt Jones since he was an eighth-grader, he’s been going to Mountaineer games since he was a freshman and he attended three games in Morgantown this season.
So don’t call Saturday’s decision an early commitment. They’ve been flirting with each other for too long.
After visiting the campus with teammates Brennan Wassil and L.J. Scott on Saturday, Jones made it official, verbally committing to the Mountaineers over scholarship offers from Kentucky, Indiana and Toledo. Wassil, a second-team all-district quarterback as a senior, will join WVU as a preferred walk-on.
“When you find somewhere you like, you just know,” he said. “[Indiana] was tempting because I grew up in Big Ten country, but I felt really comfortable at West Virginia, I really like the coaching staff and it’s close to home. The time was right, so I did it.”
Jones (6-foot-4, 305 pounds) is a four-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, and was a first-team all-Ohio selection as a defensive lineman for the Eagles (12-1), who won the All-American Conference American Division and lost to eventual state champion Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in the Division III regional finals.
He is being recruited for offense, “but I can play both. If they want me to play defense, I’m willing to change.”
Wassil (6-5, 200) had offers from a pair of FCS schools (Saint Francis and Robert Morris) and a Division II school (Lake Erie) but after talking with the WVU coaches for more than 30 minutes on Saturday, he knew what he wanted to do.
“I fell in love with the place and I know the quarterback situation, but I feel like I’m capable of earning a scholarship,” said Wassil, who transferred to Hubbard in the offseason from Kennedy Catholic. “Honestly, I think if I had been playing at Hubbard for a few years, I might have a Division I offer by now.”
Scott has yet to commit. He has offers from WVU, Michigan State, Tennessee, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Bowling Green and Toledo.
Even though the Eagles lose several key players to graduation, including Wassil and wide receiver/defensive back Darnell Tate, Jones believes they have enough talent to make a run at the state championship.
“I know all the seniors and juniors and even the sophomores plan on making it back to the regional finals and hopefully seeing St. V’s and beating them,” said Jones, whose team has lost to the Irish each of the last two seasons. “Then we want to make our way to state and win a state title.”