West Virginia football prepares to host throngs of campers – Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)

It’s a big week for the future of West Virginia football, and the Mountaineers are changing things up. For the first time in recent memory, the coaching staff is holding all of their June camps during one week, spread out throughout the course of six days. The goal is to allow for smaller, more individualized settings with campers and recruits, while also allowing some unofficial visitors — those on campus but not camping — to see how the staff coaches.

Things will get started on Monday with the first of four straight one-day prospect camps, though the focus may be off the field on Roswell (Ga.) wide receiver Christian Ford. The three-star prospect will be in town as part of a three-day trip, although he will only be participating in on-field activities for one of those days. He currently holds seven offers, but the two unofficial favorites in his recruitment are Virginia Tech and WVU. He plans to make a decision in the very near future.

The next day, Aliquippa (Pa.) athlete Will Gipson will be in town for a camp. He’s been to Morgantown several times for games, but the 2019 prospect is hoping to impress the coaches enough to get an offer.

On Wednesday, prized wide receiver Bryce Wheaton has a visit planned. He’s unsure if he will do any on-field work, but the 247Sports three-star recruit holds over a dozen offers, including one from West Virginia. His family ties to the program run deep, as he is the grandson of Garrett Ford Sr. (former player, coach, and associated Athletic Director) and nephew of Garrett Ford Jr. (former WVU running back). Both his mother (undergrad) and father (law school) also have degrees from West Virginia.

As the weekend approaches, in-state star Amir Richardson will stop in for a one-day camp on Thursday, and follow that with his team in the 7-on-7 tournament Friday and Saturday. The University High star received a Mountaineer offer earlier this spring, despite being just a junior-to-be.

Not surprisingly, that 7-on-7 tournament is when many of the biggest names are expected on campus, including much of the in-state talent. Spring Valley’s Doug Nester and Owen Porter are scheduled to be in town, as well as Tavis Lee (Martinsburg), Grant Wells (George Washington) and Kerry Martin (Capital), among others.

Along with many of these uncommitted recruits, current verbal commitments James Gmiter, Mike O’Laughlin, Tyrese Allen and Leddie Brown have eyed visits at some point this week.

In all, as many as 500 campers — or more — are expected to come through Morgantown. Not all will be recruiting targets for West Virginia, but there will be enough elite talent on hand that the Mountaineers could very well make some big strides toward a brighter future in the coming days.

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