Chuck Landon: Maryland finds QB who MU, WVU miss
A prep quarterback committed to the University of Maryland this week.
Why is that news around here?
No. 1, because he plays for Frankfort High School located in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle at Ridgeley.
No. 2, because neither Marshall nor West Virginia University offered a scholarship to the state native.
How does that happen?
I don't have an answer.
What I do know is Gage Shaffer showed up at Maryland's football camp as an unknown, yet knocked head coach Randy Edsall's socks off so completely the Terps offered him a scholarship.
Shaffer is a 6-foot-7, 210-pound senior quarterback who can run. And after passing for nearly 1,100 yards for the Falcons in 2013, he isn't expected to do anything but get bigger, stronger and better.
What's not to like?
Nothing, apparently, judging by Maryland's offer and, now, Yale's interest.
Says something about Shaffer's academics, huh?
Yale has put together a financial package that translates to a full-ride since the Ivy League doesn't give athletic scholarships.
So, essentially, the Frankfort star has offers from Maryland and Yale, but not from Marshall or WVU.
What's wrong with that geographical picture?
There aren't enough major college prospects in the state of West Virginia that anyone should fly under the recruiting radar. Particularly since Marshall and WVU are the only two Football Bowl Subdivision schools in the state.
Both schools have paid lip service to the premise of having an assistant coach visit every high school in West Virginia.
Looks like they missed Mineral County.
PRATT OFFERED: WVU didn't miss Kanawha County, however.
The Mountaineers recently offered Capital High School quarterback Tyrhee Pratt a scholarship. He is a 6-2, 195-pound junior.
Pratt completed 94 of 181 passes for 1,451 yards and 17 touchdowns as a mere ninth-grader. Then, he followed it up by hitting 119 of 216 passes for 1,888 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore.
Pratt and running back Kashaun Haley, also a major college prospect, are why Capital is the team to beat in the Mountain State Athletic Conference.
FIVE AND COUNTING: That's how many West Virginia natives already have committed to FBS programs for 2015.
Spring Valley High School has two in behemoth offensive tackles Alex Locklear, 6-5, 295, verbal to Marshall and Trevor Stacy, 6-5, 290, commitment to Charlotte. The 49ers also have a verbal from South Charleston's A.D. Cunningham, 6-0, 210, outside linebacker.
Then, in the northern part of the state there are Stone Wolfley and Shaffer. Wolfley is a 6-4, 235, defensive end who has committed to WVU.
Both Wolfley and Shaffer are rated as three-star prospects by the 247Sports recruiting service.
MORE TO COME: Add Wayne linebacker Mason Hodge, running back Donte Hendricks, Huntington High linebacker Tyler Gatrell, Point Pleasant tight end Cody Mitchell and Martinsburg running back Deamonte Lindsey to the list.
Yes, West Virginia's prep football is making a comeback.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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