Mountaineers Offer Florida Defensive Tackle for 2013 - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Mountaineers Offer Florida Defensive Tackle for 2013

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MORGANTOWN -

The offer came Tuesday for Kyle Shortridge, a defensive tackle who continues to see more and more interest from college programs as he wraps up his junior year of high school.

West Virginia running backs coach Robert Gillespie let the 6-foot-2, 270-pound Shortridge know that the Mountaineers had a place for him if he wanted it and the Floridian is all ears.

"He [Gillespie] was telling me he likes how I play, he likes how I fly off the line and everything like that. He said he likes my intensity," says Shortridge, a 3-star prospect according to Rivals.com.

Although this was his first time speaking with a coach from West Virginia's staff, Shortridge is familiar with the team.

"I watch them every time they come on TV. They're a pretty hard-playing school," Shortridge says of WVU. "I saw the game against Clemson where they blew them out by a million points."

The estimate of points scored may be a tad off, but Shortridge was clearly impressed by what the Mountaineers accomplished in January just over an hour from his hometown of Loxahatchee.

Shortridge recognizes that a large portion of West Virginia's roster comes from his state and that works to its advantage when he begins looking into which school he wants to spend his college years attending. He already has a good friend who made that decision in the past year.

Roshard Burney, a running back signed on to play for WVU in 2012, was a rival of Shortridge's Seminole Ridge team. Once the two got over the fact that they played on opposite sides of the rivalry, they realized the other wasn't so bad and have kept in constant communication ever since.

Coach Gillespie recruited Burney, and now he is relaying his own reasons for choosing the Mountaineers to Shortridge.

"He's one of the people who is really telling me good stuff about West Virginia," Shortridge says of Burney. "He just says that he loves the program and how everything goes there."

Throughout the spring, the defensive staff has spoken about how much it would like to see a number of players rotating through the defensive line snaps this fall. Anyone from a fifth-year senior to a true freshman will have the opportunity to prove they are worthy of playing time and that mentality has Shortridge excited.

"I look at them and I see how their line flies off the ball every play and how people get a real shot to start," he says. "That makes me want to give them a chance."

His search for a college program now includes offers from South Florida, Louisville, Indiana, Minnesota and Western Kentucky in addition to WVU. Shortridge says the school that will ultimately win out is the one that gives him the best chance at improving as a player by making him earn everything he gets.

His plan at this point is to make an official visit to Morgantown in order to discover whether or not he believes the Mountaineers fit that mold.

They already feel that Shortridge fits theirs.

"I just love to play football," he says. "When I get on the field and someone has the ball, I won't stop until I get them."

It is that mentality that caught Gillespie's eye and now it becomes his job to do what it takes to catch Shortridge's and keep him interested in a future with West Virginia.

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