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Rivals250 DE James Heard commits to WVU

James Heard
James Heard (Nick Lucero/

West Virginia continued their recruiting hot streak with the addition of Rivals250 defensive end James Heard. The Camden, N.J. star had been leaning towards the Mountaineers for some time.



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"I committed to West Virginia because it fits me as a defensive player," Heard said. "Their scheme with me being able to pass rush and sometimes drop into coverage is something I know I can do. I'm planning on bringing that to the next level. I believe in coach Lesley and how he plays the defensive game. I love everything about it here.

"I really close to everybody on the staff," he said. "Coach Scott, the running backs coach, coach Lesley, and coach Brown, we all talk frequently. It's like a family thing over here.

"We (Josiah Trotter, Richard "Wink" James, and Heard) talked about this for months," said Heard. "We all kind of knew that it was going to come down to us reuniting at West Virginia. It definitely played a factor, being able to come in with some of the players I'm coming in with and with Wink coming in the next year. I think it played a huge part in knowing that you'll have familiar faces on the team.

"I was kind of on the inside of (Rodney Gallagher's commitment)," he said. "I actually thought he was going to end up doing it later but he felt comfortable with doing it now and making a huge announcement last week. I'm glad to be able to make this announcement this week. I know we're trying to get the defensive lineman Justin Benton and the offensive lineman Layth Ghannam."


Heard is a big time pass rusher that should help in the West Virginia defense early in his career. He isn't the biggest defensive end but he isn't small either so he'll need to physically mature before seeing significant playing time. Heard is now the third four-star commit for West Virginia's 2023 class and, along with Rodney Gallagher, their second Rivals250 prospect so far.