There are (lineman) mountains within our mountains
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The game of college football recruiting is always a hoot.
According to Scout, for instance, WVU's top 2014 commitment is four-star wideout Ricky Rogers of Monroeville, Pa., while quarterback William Crest of Baltimore is a three-star prospect.
Flip the two in the eyes of Rivals. Crest is a four-star guy, while Rogers is a three-bagger.
The kicker? According to ESPN, three Mountaineer commitments - wideout Lamar Parker, linebacker Davonte James and wideout Jake McCrary - are rated above both Rogers and Crest. Each member of the trio is given four stars and ranked in the site's top 300 crop of 2014. (Parker is the highest rated there at No. 230. Side note: Virginia - yes, Virginia - has two of the site's top 10 recruits committed to it.)
In regard to Mountain State players, none appear in the ESPN Top 300. WVU has one state player, Morgantown lineman Amani Brown, committed to sign in February. It has Morgantown's Stone Wolfley committed for 2015. Marshall has none from the state committed in either year. (The Herd is hitting Florida and Georgia very hard.)
Both schools, though, might want to take a look at a trio of 2015 linemen right here in Wild and Wonderful. According to a pair of coaches, the three are putting the "Mountain" back in the Mountain State.
One of those mountains is located, appropriately enough, on The Hill. He's 6-foot-5, 315-pound junior offensive tackle Dave Smith of George Washington High.
"I think he's a Division I player, I really do," said Patriots coach Steve Edwards Jr. "I don't say that very often. But Dave's very legit. He has size and the frame and he hasn't reached his potential yet."
Edwards said Smith just turned 16.
"He looks young in the face," said the coach, "but he has good feet and is athletic, which gives him an advantage in pass blocking. He has good level change and technique. And he doesn't lumber out there, he runs."
Smith is a right tackle who also plays some defense at tackle and nose. Next year, when senior left tackle Jack Skidmore is graduated, Smith is expected to move to that side.
Edwards said Smith is unofficially visiting WVU this weekend and North Carolina next.
"This [recruiting] is just getting started for him," said the coach.
Remember, though, I wrote the state has a trio of potential Division I big men.
"We have three good ones, including the two at Spring Valley," Edwards said. "In this state, you don't see that very often. We went through our run of nice skill guys, now we have big men."
The two at Spring Valley High near Huntington are Trevor Stacy and Alex Locklear.
"I've got about 10 schools calling all the time about them," said SVHS coach Brad Dingess.
Close followers of high school ball might know Stacy's name. Last season, as a sophomore, he was a first-team Class AAA all-state selection after starting for the Timberwolves at center as a freshman.
Dingess said his 6-5, 292-pound right tackle will be visiting Vanderbilt this weekend after the team's game with Nitro.
"He's super-intelligent," said Dingess. "He's scored a 28 on his ACT. Plus, he's one of the most flexible kids I've seen.
"This will be his second trip to Vanderbilt."
The other Spring Valley lineman getting attention is Locklear, who's playing at left tackle. He's more of an unknown - unless the topic is college recruiters.
"He's going to WVU this weekend and Duke next and then Wake Forest," Dingess said. "He's almost 6-6 and 295 pounds. He's probably faster than Trevor. Alex can pull and is a great pass blocker. He does a great job getting to the second level."
Dingess said, aside from the above schools, he's been receiving calls from Missouri, Marshall and Charlotte.
"It's a great situation for them," said the coach. "They're great friends - and competitive. They compete to see who gets the most pancakes."
It will be interesting to follow all.
"All three are Division I kids," Dingess said. "There's no doubt in my mind."
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, email@example.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.