Lageman Earns Scholarship for Senior Season at WVU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Lageman Earns Scholarship for Senior Season at WVU

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MORGANTOWN -

Many of the names and faces that make up this fall's defensive line for West Virginia may be new and unfamiliar to some who have become accustomed to the stars who vacated the defense in recent seasons.

But the experience remains in a number of players returning with significant playing time under their belts. Among the candidates to fill the vacancies is rising senior J.B. Lageman and this offseason he has been rewarded for his play with a scholarship.

"I guess proud of myself for finally getting it," Lageman says in earnest. "It's been four years, so getting one in my last year, it really means a lot to finally be able to do it as an in-state guy being able to walk-on."

A Huntington native, Lageman came to WVU in the 2008 season along with fellow senior lineman Jorge Wright. Seven other players listed as defensive linemen signed scholarship offers that February, but of all the athletes to come that summer, just those two remain.

In his three seasons of action, Lageman has tallied nine tackles and one sack in 11 games.

His numbers may not tell the whole story, though. Lageman's contributions in practices and as a player who has shown an ability to line up wherever the coach tells him have been valuable in the unit's progression.

If you ask his teammates, the honor of a scholarship was long overdue.

"Honestly, when I first came here I thought he was a scholarship guy," says junior lineman Will Clarke. "I've always told him the way he practices, his technique and just his effort – he gives effort like he's a scholarship guy and he's a prime example of a person who works for what he deserves."

Certainly he has put in the work necessary to get to this point, and the acquisition of a scholarship will not go unappreciated.

Not only does it help immensely for his family, which Lageman says has been scraping together all its money to put him through college, but it also gives him extra motivation to climb to the next plateau in his career.

"I played four years without a scholarship and I played just as hard," he says. "Just because I got a scholarship doesn't mean I'm going to back down or take a little bit off. If anything, I'm going to keep going and keep pushing harder and really try to crack in and be one of the main guys playing."

In recent years, West Virginians like Matt Lindamood and Tyler Rader have walked on as Mountaineers and received scholarships. Now Lageman joins their ranks, a humbling accomplishment.

"It's tremendous," says Lageman. "This is our pro team. This is what everybody comes on Saturdays in the fall to do, to watch WVU football.

"Unless you come from my hometown, where you probably aren't rooting for WVU," he adds with a laugh, before, "It's huge to represent that."

Lageman hopes that his success and that of those who walked a similar path before him will serve as inspiration for other high school prospects in the state who may be considering following his lead.

"If a kid is thinking, ‘Man, can I do it or should I just go lower?' Maybe he does it because he says those other guys have done it, they've made it," says Lageman. "West Virginia has always prided itself on bringing in guys that are kind of no-name guys that succeeded. That was one of the main reasons I came here."

He worked hard in four years to receive his honor and now the plan is to have the stats and the results on the field follow. Scholarship or not, this is Lageman's final season to make a difference on his state's most recognized team.

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