Devante Averette holds four scholarship offers and is giving thought to each, but naming West Virginia as the current favorite doesn't seem difficult for him. The Ellsworth (Iowa.) Community College linebacker isn't disrespecting Florida Atlantic or North Texas (his other offers). Those are certainly options he'll consider, but BCS-level college football has always been his motivation.
So while other big-name programs are waiting to see how Averette progresses in the classroom this semester, the Mountaineers are ahead of the pack. Their scholarship offer is already on the table, and defensive coordinator Keith Patterson is forging a solid relationship with the 230-pound, three-star prospect.
A head start never hurt in recruiting.
"I came about sometime in May," Averette said of his West Virginia offer. "Coach Patterson just saw my film and liked how I opened my hips and all that. He said I'm a linebacker but I have safety-type qualities. He said that they can use me in a lot of different packages so I can stay on the field. I can rush off the edge and I can blitz from the safety position. I've played a little bit of safety and a little bit of corner in my bowl game, so he said that opened up a lot of versatility that he saw in me."
Averette already has a July 20 visit to West Virginia set in stone and things appear to be moving fast between the linebacker and Big 12's newest member. He seems to be holding the academic side of the deal as well. According Averette, his junior college GPA now sits at 2.5, putting him on pace to graduate from Ellsworth is December.
And with the bump in grades has come another bump in interest.
"I'm talking to Oklahoma State a lot right now," Averette said. "They are just waiting for my last semester and my math and science classes to be over with because all my other classes, all my other core classes, are over except for biology and math. After that, I should have more schools. Arizona State sends me mail and they're starting to add me on Facebook and stuff like that."
Junior college recruiting, by its nature, is unstable. So is a timetable for Averette's decision. On one hand, he wouldn't mind waiting it out and seeing what other options present themselves down the road. On the other hand, he's not ruling out settling on the Mountaineers and making a quick choice.
"It's tough to say right now," Averette said. "I'm talking about it with my family. It might be before the season so I can get in and get safe, but I might wait until the end of the season or mid-season. It's kind of a jump ball right now."