football Edit

Four-star DT Amir Leonard-Jean Charles commits to West Virginia

Four-star DT Amir Leonard-Jean Charles is officially off the board.

Charles, the No. 28-ranked defensive tackle in the nation out of Nashville (Tenn.) Lipscomb Academy in Tennessee, picked West Virginia. Texas and Syracuse were also finalists for the 6-foot-4, 305-plus-pounder.

The Mountaineers run in Charles' family. His mother is a West Virginia alum and the four-star DL still has strong ties in and around the state.

"They won me over because of my relationship with Coach Jackson," Charles told Rivals of his decision to pledge to West Virginia. "Me and Coach Jackson would talk a lot and he would come down to Tennessee, to see the family, and really to hang out with us. In that time, we really made a connection."

"It was a crazy difficult decision, and to be honest, playing for either of those programs is an honor and privilege that as an athlete you just cannot overlook, but that connection to West Virginia runs deep in my heart," he added. "Seeing my mom smile and tear up because she understands what that means, hearing my dad tell me that I made the right decision because he understands what that means …it doesn’t get any better…West Virginia, Country Road, I'm coming home!"


Charles spent June navigating through official visits -- with pivotal stops at Syracuse and Texas before returning to Morgantown last weekend.

That official visit shot West Virginia up the ladder for one of Tennessee's best recruits.

"The thing that caught my eye was how the players treated each other and the whole team, including coaches ... All they talked about was family and that means a lot to me," he explained. "As for the Morgantown culture, with my mom graduating from West Virginia, the connection to Morgantown is crazy! I'm super excited to make Morgantown my home."

Part of the Mountaineers' pitch to the four-star DT came from head coach Neal Brown, who played a big role in dipping into Tennessee for Charles' commitment.

"Coach Brown just makes you want to be better, he just makes you want to play hard," he started. "His approach to coaching is exactly what I admire as a coach, he knows the game, he understands how to relate to his players and he just wants to make everyone around him better."