Recruiting rankings and athletic skills aside, toughness and aggressiveness are attributes that can’t go overlooked at the college level along the offensive line. And Chagrin Falls (Ohio) high school head coach Mark Iammarino says new WVU offensive line commitment Grant Lingafelter has all that.
“He does have that nasty streak to him,” Iammarino said on the MetroNews Statewide Sportsline. “He finishes blocks well and he’s not just a one-hit guy, he’ll go after a guy and make sure he’s down on the ground.”
Lingafelter showed some of that toughness by playing through the second half of the season with what Iammarino called badly bruised ribs.
“There were two weeks during the season where we kind of kept him on the shelf during practice, but he didn’t miss any time in games,” Iammarino said. “He played some defensive tackle for us as well and that’s the name of the game.
“Hogs are hogs for a reason and there’s nothing pretty about them. He has the footwork and all of that other kind of stuff, but the bottom line is if he’s going to make a name for himself, he has to be aggressive, physical and able to play through an awful lot.”
Lingafelter had some interest from other BCS schools, including Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Florida State and Boston College, but most of his offers came from MAC teams. WVU, meanwhile, had been in contact with him since last spring and officially gave him an offer within the last two weeks.
“He may not have been a guy that was offered by BCS schools right off the get-go, but I think he has always been on their board,” Iammarino said.
Lingafelter, who currently stands in at 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, had a big transition year into his current frame following his sophomore season, heading into his junior year.
“He does have that nasty streak to him. He finishes blocks well and he’s not just a one-hit guy, he’ll go after a guy and make sure he’s down on the ground.” – Mark Iammarino on WVU commit Grant Lingafelter
“He moves well, has good feet and you can tell he’s going to continue to grow and get bigger and stronger,” Iammarino said. “He’s going to fill out more and therefore they believe he can be that dominant kind of lineman.”
As for Lingafelter’s lack of BCS-caliber offers overall in the recruiting process?
“Grant realizes that there are some guys out there that are thinking if your previous offers were not from Big 12 schools or SEC schools, then can you play at that level? I told him to use that as motivation to tell everybody and the people of West Virginia that he’s at the right level and he’s going to do great things for them,” Iammarino said.
Lingafelter had previously committed to Miami (Ohio), but visited WVU last weekend and decided to switch to the Mountaineers.
“West Virginia, to my knowledge, wasn’t a brand new thing,” the coach said. “They had him on the radar and kept in touch. He took a visit and I think he was extremely impressed with the coaching staff and he enjoyed working with them.
“As we went down the pros and cons and all of those things, just the atmosphere of Morgantown on a Saturday afternoon and playing Big 12 football is something he’s wanted to do all of his life.”