Akron (Ohio) Firestone wide receiver Kevin Gladney just finished up a successful junior season, capturing first team all-city honors for his play. The 6-4, 175-pound Gladney is also seeing his stock rise on the recruiting scene.
Interest has come Gladney's way from schools like West Virginia, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Florida.
"It's been kind of an exciting moment for me," Gladney said of the college interest. "They have been sending me mail, messaging me on Facebook, ask me how I am doing and say to stay in class and work hard."
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Interest from West Virginia has been particularly exciting for Gladney. Even before he became a targeted recruit in the class of 2013, the Mountaineers were a team that stood out.
"West Virginia was always my favorite team. I always played video games with that team," he said. "I went down there for a camp and just liked the facilities. I liked how the coaches treat them down there."
West Virginia assistant Bill Bedenbaugh is Gladney's primary contact in Morgantown. The two did not meet during Gladney's camp appearance, but have been in contact consistently this fall.
"I'm a wide receiver and he is an offensive line coach, so I didn't get to really meet him," Gladney said. "One of these days I want to be able to meet him personally, because we talk on Facebook and he sends me handwritten notes, telling me what I need to do to be successful."
Now that his season is over, Gladney is hoping to get down to Morgantown to see a Mountaineer's home game. His own team's schedule has allowed him to attend just one game this fall.
"One game I have been to was Ohio State vs. Akron U," Gladney said. "I just loved the atmosphere [at Ohio State]. Everybody was happy and loud and I like how they treat you there too."
Firestone finished the season with a 5-5 record. Gladney averaged 16 yards per catch and scored four touchdowns from his wide receiver position.