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October 5, 2005A loss to third-ranked Virginia Tech left West Virginia fans a bit frustrated, but off-the-field recruiting news has many Mountaineer fans smiling again.
First it was the glowing remarks that three-star Pittsburgh (Pa.) Woodland Hills wide receiver Wesley Lyons made after making his official visit to Morgantown for the game with the Hokies. It appears nothing has changed as West Virginia remained in the lead, along with Boston College.
"I like West Virginia a lot, I've always liked them, but I know I have to see how my other visits go," Lyons said. "I'd rate the trip a 9.5 because I had a great time with the coaches. There was nothing I felt I missed out on and I'd say they still lead right up there with Boston College."
Many believe depending on how his Boston College visit goes, that these two trips may decide whether he takes pending visits to other colleges on his offer list. It appears at this point, however, that Rich Rodriguez and the Mountaineer coaching staff has done an excellent job keeping the leader spot.
The wildcard to the situation is will Lyons still take an official visit to Ohio State where his brother, Devon Lyons plays. Given the family ties there, it's hard to count the Buckeyes out just yet.
Family ties to the Mountaineers program kicked in a commitment of its own when Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Ely linebacker James Thomas decided to pull the trigger and follow in his father's footsteps. Former WVU linebacker James Thomas Jr. made sure to talk things over with his son before agreeing to his decision.
"He wanted to make sure I wasn't making the decision because of him, and I assured him I wasn't," Thomas said about the talk with his father. "I wanted to get to it and it just felt right in my gut. They told me I could play any of the five positions on the 3-5-3."
As the conference schedule begins to unfold for West Virginia, it appears that their recruiting efforts have ushered in high expectations for the future.
'Cuse still leading for Colorado star
It didn't take long for coaches to realize how athletic Denver (Colo.) Thomas Jefferson defensive end Pierre Allen was considering his college interest was coming for both football and basketball. Even on the football field, some schools have started looking to him as a wide receiver.
It was Syracuse that offered him first. Growing up, that was the team that he watched on television, thus the reason the Orange have a big-time lead.
"Syracuse and Nebraska are my favorites right now," Allen said. "I really like their coaches a lot. The Colorado coaches are cool too. I know I'm going to make it up to those three for a visit this winter."
The major plus for Syracuse in this situation is Allen has always been intrigued of the opportunity to play both sports. In a summer update, he admitted that has him very intrigued.
"Syracuse has always had great athletes and winning records (in both sports)," he said. "I am thinking about playing both basketball and football now. A lot of schools have said they would let me play both."
Purdue commit visiting Pitt?
After an official visit to watch Purdue face off against Notre Dame, Trotwood (Ohio) Madison defensive back Jovani Chappel made a commitment to the Boilermakers seeing a very big need to come in and play early.
However, what the 5-foot-9, 171-pound No. 20 rated prospect in the state of Ohio did not rule out was taking visits. It appears he has not made up his mind whether he will take his scheduled visit to Pittsburgh this weekend.
Though Chappel has stated that he's just taking trips to travel a bit, rather than seek out more school options, things could get interesting if he makes the trip to Pitt.
South Florida target gives them a big nod
After an unofficial visit to South Florida to a while back to watch USF upset Louisivlle, Dade City (Fla.) Pasco three-star wide receiver Darrell Davis had the Bulls as one of his top teams on his list.
Even after setting an official visit to North Carolina State for Oct. 15 and saying that he will visit South Carolina, he's come clean about his top schools on his mind right now.
"I'd say Florida State and USF are my top two (teams) right now," Davis said. "USF really impressed me a lot with how they beat Louisville. The funny thing is coach Bobby Petrino from Louisville offered me on Friday and then they got blown out the next day. USF really moved up on my list after that."
It appears that the big win that USF displayed while Davis was present is still pushing the Bulls higher and higher on his list. Without a Florida State offer coming soon, Davis may have them as the sole leader within weeks.
JUCO defensive lineman high on Louisville
The Cardinals' always do an excellent job with the junior college players and it appears defensive end Andre Tillman from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College is in their crosshairs at this time.
Many thought that Tillman would not receive the kind of big time interest from Division I colleges because of a lack of size for a defensive lineman at 6-foot, 285 pounds. However, it appears that the Cardinal staff is well aware of his abilities no matter how big he is.
Tillman also wants to get himself on a big stage for his college days and he feels Louisville could be that place.
"Louisville is one of them (offer) and Tennessee offered last week, so they're up at the top too," Tillman said. "Louisville is a big-time program where I could really show off my talents. At the same time, I'm keeping all my options open."
Tillman will take his trips in November. If Louisville can show him a big time, it could lead to an early commitment. Tillman is also looking to graduate early which could be an immediate help for any losses to the defensive line after this season.
More Recruiting Blitzes:
• Big Ten: Irish keep rolling
• SEC: Tide high for talent
• Pac-10: One at a time for SC
• Big Ten: Spartans rise