Wellman Proud to Represent Home State at WVU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Wellman Proud to Represent Home State at WVU


West Virginia football did not sign a single player from its home state in the 2012 class, but already there is one on the list to climb aboard for 2013.

Spring Valley High's Elijah Wellman received an offer from the Mountaineers over the weekend and wasted no time at all telling the staff that he wanted to close out his recruiting process and commit to WVU.

"It meant a lot to me," Wellman said after committing on Monday. "All the hard work paid off. I'm an in-state kid, so getting an offer from WVU was pretty big for the state and for me and my family. I was really excited about it."

Wellman, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound fullback, is hopeful that his own story can serve to motivate some of the other players in the Mountain State who have the talent to play at a major FBS program just as he is now lined up to do.

"They sign kids from everywhere, Florida mostly," Wellman says of WVU. "All colleges recruit Florida, so it's not really a big deal when they commit. But when somebody from in-state commits, that's really big for West Virginia. Me getting out there to a bigger school can get other kids in West Virginia noticed."

But Wellman is in a different part of West Virginia where WVU's gold and blue are in a battle with Marshall's green and white. A Huntington native, he is preparing himself for what the next year will be like walking the streets with fans of the Thundering Herd as he waits to start his Mountaineer career.

"It's definitely difficult to see a bunch of [Marshall fans]," Wellman admits. "They're everywhere, but most of them understand that you can't pass up the chance to play some Big 12 football. They're going to support me as much as they can."

Wellman grew up watching WVU take on the likes of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Rutgers, so the change to a new conference is an exciting prospect with himself now set to join the fun in year two of the Big 12. It is an opportunity that few could have predicted he would have.

"It's like a dream. You never realize you're going to have the chance to play those teams and in that good of a conference and still be in West Virginia not too far away from home," he says.

Watching WVU in year one under head coach Dana Holgorsen, Wellman believes he got an idea of how he could fit in with its offense and help push the Mountaineers toward victories.

He knows that as a fullback, he will be counted on to pave the way for the ball-carriers or block for the quarterback, and those duties sound like exactly what he wants out of his collegiate football career.

"I think I fit in pretty well," says Wellman. "They told me if I come up there and compete, then I'll have a very good chance of starting four years for them as a big fullback. I like their offense. It's different."

With his recruitment now in the rearview, Wellman is looking forward to a worry-free approach to his senior year at Spring Valley where his sole focus can be on high school football and his goals in the fall.

"It's a big weight off my shoulders," he says. "I don't have to worry about it too much. I can try to win a state championship with my high school team and know that I'm all set for the future."

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