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Mitch Vingle: State recruits — in the Valley

THUNDERSTORMS HAVE been predicted over West Virginia for the next couple of days.

Within Mountain State recruiting circles, though, there’s been rumbling for a while now. Just not many know about it.

In case you’re unaware, WVU has secured football commitments from half of ex-Mountaineer lineman Dale Wolfley’s brood. Coach Dana Holgorsen received one commitment from Stone Wolfley, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound Morgantown High tight end, for the class of 2015. Then, back in February, the coach received another from perhaps the state’s second-best recruit in Maverick Wolfley. WVU fans, however, will have to wait until the class of 2017 hits Morgantown to see the 6-2, 205-pound linebacker.

But there’s also a little somethin’ somethin’ happening within the Kanawha Valley.

At South Charleston High, quarterback Kentre Grier has been getting looks from quite a few universities after landing on the Class AAA second-team all-state list as a sophomore.

“Kentre has been getting quite a bit of interest,” said SCHS coach Donnie Mays. “West Virginia, Marshall and Akron have all been on him. But the one that’s really surprising now is Clemson. They’re really high on him. Their coaches saw Kentre’s film and told me they’d love to have him in camp. So he’s going to go to their camp there as well as at the other three schools.”

Mays said Grier might also hit camp at James Madison and North Carolina-Charlotte. The QB’s teammate, A.D. Cunningham, is headed to the latter.

Mays said schools are projecting Grier as a quarterback in part because of the success of his father, Kenny, a record-breaking QB at West Virginia State. In 1990, the elder Grier threw for 3,322 yards. As a high school sophomore, the younger Grier passed for 1,969 with 25 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

“Kentre is very intelligent,” Mays said. “His film study goes to the field and he can make adjustments on the fly when on the field. He makes things happen.”

If the 6-2 Kentre Grier has a challenge, it’s bulking up.

“He’s trying to pack on the weight,” Mays said. “He was 135 pounds as a freshman, but he’s 165 now with two years to play. He’ll be all right there. And he has all the intangibles: great attitude, good family and high grade-point average.”

But wait. There’s more. At least within the Kanawha Valley.

WVU, among others, are checking out a couple Capital High Cougars, including quarterback Tyrhee Pratt, who shockingly was but a special mention Class AAA selection after last season.

Pratt, 6-2, 185 pounds, took Capital to the state semifinals and passed for 1,880 yards with 16 touchdowns and but four interceptions as a sophomore. He accounted for 411 yards in a win over Parkersburg as the Big Reds were opening their refurbished Stadium Field.

“West Virginia has been here several times,” said Capital coach Jon Carpenter. “Tony Gibson has been here and Shannon Dawson has been here twice. Plus [Pratt has] been getting letters from Charlotte, James Madison and William & Mary. I’ve had requests for film and transcripts from a lot others.

“He’s like a point guard playing quarterback. A lot of times it’s like he has a clear-out and goes to the basket. At the end of the year I think he realized how good he can be. All the letters and attention became real. Also, he’s really committed himself to the weight room. My wife said it looks like the new Tyrhee Pratt ate the old one.”

Carpenter said some of the same schools checking out Pratt are looking at the Cougars’ first-team all-state running back Kashuan Haley, who will be a senior. Word, though, is the next Capital high-major recruit might be linebacker Dorian Etheridge, 6-3, 200 pounds.

“He came in and started every game at inside linebacker,” Carpenter said. “That’s not easy to do. He didn’t have hair on his arms. But now he’s in there weightlifting. He passes the ‘look’ test. Definitely a prospect.”

The Cougars’ coach also pointed to running back and slot man Silas Nazario, who was also a freshman last season.

“He has a chance to be a really good one,” Carpenter said.

It’s nice to hear.

Now we’ll see if the rumblings turn into a perfect storm for the in-state kids.

Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvingle@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/ MitchVingle.


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