Former WVU Receiver Wes Lyons Releases First Book - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Former WVU Receiver Wes Lyons Releases First Book

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Photo courtesy Wes Lyons Photo courtesy Wes Lyons
MORGANTOWN -

Just three years after his senior season at West Virginia came to an end, former Mountaineer wide receiver Wes Lyons has put pen to paper and written a book about his journey as a young athlete.

The Pursuit with Patience gives readers a look into the life of a talented kid out of North Braddock, Pa., who first fell for the game of baseball before finding himself fully immersed in football.

Lyons says his major motivation to put his story in writing is to give other athletes in the youth system who may envision a career in sports an understanding of what they could face along the way.

"Once you hit college until the pros, it's all a business," Lyons says. "People are going to get treated unfairly and a lot of stuff is going to be biased, but that's how it's going to be. People think it's all about talent, especially children. They think, ‘Okay, I'm better than this guy, I'm going to play,' and that's not always the case."

Lyons delves into the aspects of his younger years that molded him into the athlete and the person who he grew to be, including outside influences and a close relationship with his family.

His father and brother flanked him through many of his achievements in school and in sports and helped to keep him focused and motivated as each new obstacle rose to block his path.

"I really want to stress education and getting a college degree, because that's something no one can take away," says Lyons. "If you get that and you play two years in the league or 10 years in the league, you'll still have that college degree. You have that no matter what happens."

Youth sports and a prep career in the Woodland Hills School District prepared Lyons for his attempt to excel at the college level and, ultimately, as a professional.

The part that will especially interest West Virginia fans begins, no surprise here, with Lyons' college recruitment.

Details of conversations with a variety of coaches at schools that visited Lyons' practices and games and invited him to their campuses give some insight into what sort of factors went led to his decision.

Recruiting is a funny part of a college coach's job that requires the prospect to trust what he is told. In Lyons' case, he says, the WVU staff made promises that it would end up breaking.

At the time, Rich Rodriguez coached the Mountaineers with quarterback Pat White and running back Steve Slaton guiding one of the nation's most prolific rushing attacks. And yet, in Pursuit, Lyons shares a conversation with WVU coaches in which he was told that if he signed with them, the offense would change to one that would "throw over fifty times a game."

"That stuff is crazy because they tell you everything you want to hear as they recruit you, whether they're lies or not, just to get that edge up on other colleges," says Lyons. "A lot of this stuff just starts going to your head and you start thinking you're better than you are as a high school athlete, not knowing that there are other athletes at the college level who are just as good as you are."

When Lyons and the other freshmen in his class arrived on campus, he recalls a meeting in which his recruiting coach, Tony Gibson, admitted to the rookies that much of what was said to get the players to sign was nothing more than just that.

Lyons admits there were times in which he would second guess his decision to play for WVU, but he stayed in Morgantown in large part because of the fans and the atmosphere that surrounded the program.

"I don't know what it is about West Virginia. It's the support system and it's something that you get connected to," says Lyons.

Throughout Pursuit, Lyons praises the people in his life who have helped him push forward. Whether it was his family, friends, fans or mentors, there is no shortage of credit passed out as an acknowledgement that he did not get to where he is today on his own.

Yet, as he discusses his pro day and the challenge of transitioning from the college game to a chance at the NFL, Lyons recalls a conversation with his agent in which he was told that the WVU staff was giving negative feedback to scouts who asked about the receivers' potential.

"You would think that the WVU staff would want their athletes in the NFL to make the university look better," Lyons writes. "However, that was not the case for these coaches."

From the point that he first worked out in front of NFL coaches to the last time he stepped on a professional field this past spring, Lyons chronicles his efforts to remain desirable in the eyes of the league's decision makers.

Continued training with his brother while the two dealt with adversity in their family life shaped the years since Lyons left college as he showcased his talents for teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Jets and the Houston Texans.

He returns to Morgantown often and finds that he still calls the town and its university his second home while he sets his sights on the future, which does not currently include the quest to stick with an NFL roster.

"My main goal is this book right now," he says. "I want to inspire people and to be that voice that a lot of people don't have in their lives. I'll see how it plays out with football. It's not out of the picture, but I want to see where this aspect of my life takes me and I hope I can make some difference along the way."

The Pursuit with Patience is available to order through Lyons' website, WesleyLyons.com or on Amazon.com. Lyons will be signing copies of the book at the WVU Bookstore on Dec. 1 prior to WVU's season finale against Kansas.

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