Just a handful of high school players in West Virginia each year earn Division I football scholarships. This year, three of those players are coming from George Washington High School — Ryan Switzer (North Carolina), Dustin Crouser (UNC Charlotte) and Jordan Clay (Air Force).

“It says a lot about these kids and how hard they’ve worked,” said GW coach Steve Edwards, Jr. “Everything they’re getting ready to experience and everything they have coming their way right now they have earned and we’re really proud of them.”

The most highly pursued of the three was Switzer, who ultimately chose North Carolina. He had multiple other offers, including West Virginia, but the Mountaineers were late to offer and didn’t make him a priority.

“Real early he was very interested in the Mountaineers, but to be honest, they didn’t show much interest in Ryan,” Edwards said. “They probably showed the least amount of interest and the least amount of effort towards recruiting the young man of anybody. And that’s OK too, because they knew what they wanted and what they needed.”

By the time West Virginia eventually showed more attention, there was too much of a gap to make up. The backlash thrown Switzer’s way by fans on WVU message boards didn’t make his decision to stick with North Carolina any easier.

“I was real proud of the way he handled it, because there was some negativity thrown his way – especially with the Internet,” Edwards Jr. said. “But he handled it real well and he didn’t let it sway him one bit. He’s a strong individual and he’s comfortable in his skin. He’s a tough kid physically and mentally.

“He did take some criticism and certainly there were some people disappointed, but things happen for a reason and he’s really looking forward to getting down there to North Carolina to get his degree.”

Late in the recruiting process, there was a strong push from several programs other than WVU trying to convince Switzer to flip.

“There were some schools that jumped in there late and were coming at him pretty hard,” Edwards said. “He’s a normal kid and entertained a lot of ideas, but once you got down to the brass tacks and he really weighed everything in hand, he stuck with his word and the Tar Heels.”

“Real early he was very interested in the Mountaineers, but to be honest, they didn’t show much interest in Ryan. They probably showed the least amount of interest and the least amount of effort towards recruiting the young man of anybody.” — GW coach Steve Edwards Jr. on WVU’s early recruitment of Switzer

And as for those schools, specifically, making a late run at Switzer?

“Florida State was on him heavy, along with Kentucky and Stanford,” Edwards said. “They all made strong pushes at the end and they were really coming hard.”

Joining Switzer in the state of North Carolina next year will be his GW teammate Crouser, who is signing with UNCC as a linebacker. Crouser tore his ACL midway through his senior season.

“The injury was very unfortunate, but it’s going to give him some time and it will work out for him,” Edwards said. “He’s been working hard, the surgery went real well and he’s very anxious to start working on his college career. He’s such a fantastic young man – he and Ryan both have such a great work ethic.”

Clay, who played receiver/tight end for GW, is set to sign with Air Force after visiting Colorado Springs.

“As soon as Jordan got out there, it was a sold, done deal,” Edwards said. “He’s another guy that’s worked very hard and is a very talented young man. The one thing about all three of these kids is that they were great students.

“Everyone is getting a great catch and we’re really proud of them. Jordan has done a great job and he had a great career here. It’s just a fun time and we’re real happy with all three of their families.”

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Comments

  • monte.

    Well mike. If you still look at this. Seems Ryan is doing just fine. Holgerson did not show any interest in him. And I know this because it came from inside info.

  • scott

    I never reply to post like this but this time I have to. Im from Buckhannon Wv so I have never met this young man, but I have watched him play numerous times and this kid can flat out play...you cant coach speed and this kid has alot of it...he will do fine at UNC and who cares if he wanted stroked a little thats what recruiting is all about...shame on WVU for not rolling out the red carpet for him...hope all these in state kids have great college careers..

  • Jim

    Move on.

  • cutty77

    All this Hype about 17 year old Pip Sqeak. LOL

  • Martinsburg_maniac

    As an avid Martinsburg parent and fan, I have to say, although we don't get credit for the schedule we play, Martinsburg plays some top notch competition every year. Competition with numerous D1 players on each roster. Ive had the pleasure of seeing him play twice. The Switzer kid is legit! He is one of the best all around athletes we've faced and if you question that then you've never seen him play! What we need to do is wish him well at the next level! With Ryan and Cedric Brown being named All Americans, they're success at the next level will nullify the statement that West Virginia only has a handful of D1 players! At Martinsburg, We've faced and embarrassed plenty of "big time D1 recruits". And there are plenty in this state that I have personally witnessed that can hold their own with any of them!!! Good Luck to Ryan, Cedric and all of the student athletes who are taking their talents to any school on the next level! Represent us well, because you've already made us all proud!!!

  • Darren

    Avid WVU fan here. I wish the kid the best. Don't bash Dana and the staff until we see what he actually does. Going afte him simply because he is a WV kid is a plan for disaster (see Bill Stewart singees).

  • lyncofta

    Why is this news? WVU is going to be great without him and I hope he's fine without them. Were not missing out on a Geno Smith or Pat White here.

  • Stan

    I don't know what all the fuss is about. I looked him up and every website I found him on has him listed as a three star recruit. WVU is drowning in three star talent so its not like WVU needed him, so no WVU fan should be too mad that he got away or decided to go somewhere else. Also I think I read somewhere that he has family in North Carolin, if thats true then maybe he will be happier their than in Morgantown. And maybe he visited UNC and just liked it better there. Good for him. I hope he does well. WVU will be fine without him and he will be fine without WVU.

  • David

    Did any of you consideri that maybe Dana thinks he can do better? Looking at this class, I say that's that's the case.

    And, did any of you consider that maybe Dana got involved only because of political pressure to take the best in state player?

    And, did any of you consider that maybe some family member(s) are just a pain in the butt to deal with and Ryan isn't that special especially considering the drama?

    And why isn't Switzer playing b ball this season? Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    Again, go look at his stats against Martinsburg and Capital.

    I hope he does well, extremely well. However, my humble opinion is that this is the last you will hear of Ryan Switzer.

    • VTownsWVU

      Lol, looks like you got a degree in analytics from WVU. Ryan who? lmao

  • c.d. damron

    First of all ,I am an avid WVU fan.I can't believe how immature some of you guys are acting over an 18 year old kid.
    He competed at combines against some of the best talent from around the country and was a stand out at every one he participated in.
    He chose not to go to WVU and you guys instantly question his ability?Very childish!!!

    • fballwife

      Thank you!

    • Alum

      I don't think the posters are question his ability as much as his motives.

  • Mike

    A lot of you are saying WVU messed up by not going after Switzer earlier. Not so.tThis kid wanted everyone to look at him like he would become the next Jerry Rice. What about the great Doc and the MU clown show. Why didn't they try to get this kid? He couldnt go to MU because he isn't a prop or a jailbird.No sorry to bust your bubble,Switzer .never see the field at NC. Unless he is helping carry the water

    • monte.

      What do think now mikey. Doing more than toting the water huh!!

    • fballwife

      Lol your hilarious! Ryan is 100% starting at UNC

  • Bob Arrington

    Well, Switzer did well in the summer camps and in the HS all-star games against good competition. He will play in the slot at North Carolina, a position for which he is suited. He will have strong competition. But he would get that at the other schools who recruited him, like Florida State, Stanford, and Kentucky.

    • David

      I think he had one catch in the all star game. It was for a TD, but one catch is hardly "doing well."

  • dmg

    Let's be honest here: Holgreson & Co. missed the boat with Switzer, Clay and Dustin Crouser, and they have admitted they screwed up- starting with Holgreson himself,
    Why would you ever want to marginalize these exceptional young men?
    Sad commentary on "WVU supporters" ,some of which can't even spell correctly.

    • Stan

      It's funny that you comment on the WVU supporters' spelling when I count at least five misspelled words in your posts above. Your punctuation is also pretty atrocious, even for a message board.

  • graywv

    Why all the anger against this kid(Swisher), he's a West Virginian, He is a very good football player, I would have loved to seen him in a Mountaineer uniform, but it didn't happen! So we are happy for him and WVU, it just wasen't meant to happen! I hope all the WV recruits that went elsewhere, have "GREAT" careers and make the state proud! I also hope that WVU-recruits exceed expectations and we do really well and I hope in the future Holgerson gives WV kids a long early look, and remember a home state kid is more likely to play his "heart-out" for the Mountaineers than outsiders!

    • RCS

      No one has anger towards a teenager, people are merely giving their views on the situation.
      I wish him all the best, but I don't believe the choice he made was the best given the class UNC was able to put together after his commitment, and the reasons he gave (i.e. the type of offense UNC runs).

  • sater, James

    I dont see how he can say that WVU was to late when he chose UNC early (Mar 28, 2012 ). I think this young man just wanted the attention!!!!