Sylvester Washington/Ellwood City Ledger

Jaleel Fields (70) is a 6-foot-1, 296-pound defensive tackle and an Aliquippa (Pa.) High School teammate of WVU commitment Dravon Henry.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — For the second time in 48 hours West Virginia landed a commitment from an Aliquippa (Pa.) High School defensive standout. two-star defensive tackle Jaleel Fields chose the Mountaineers over Purdue and Cincinnati on Wednesday, following in the footsteps of four-star safety Dravon Henry’s announcement from Monday.

The 6-foot-1, 296-pound Fields became WVU’s 18th commitment for the 2014 signing class and its seventh defensive player. He projects as a first-year redshirt with Christian Brown and Darrien Howard returning at nose tackle and Dana Holgorsen’s staff pursuing junior college defensive linemen to plug in next season.

“Fields is very quick off the ball and has a great motor, so much so in fact that he has run down ballcarriers 20 yards downfield on occasions,” said Rivals writer Keenan Cummings of “He stays low and has good enough strength on the high school level, but will need to continue to develop that aspect once he arrives in Morgantown.”

Henry was a guest Wednesday night on MetroNews “Statewide Sportsline” and said he received an early heads-up from Fields regarding the announcement.

“Jaleel, he told me around 9 o’clock that he was coming to West Virginia and I was so excited,” Henry said. “He’s a hard player, a good student, a good player to coach and I can’t wait to get on the field with him at the next level.”

WVU safeties coach Tony Gibson, who spearheaded the recruitment of both Aliquippa players, made a lasting impression on Henry.

“Me and Coach Gibson, we made a great connection and a great friendship,” Henry said. “He was one of the main reasons I wound up going to West Virginia.

“Just hearing him talk to me and my mom was great. Hearing him talk felt like a big relief was off my shoulders. And the players I talked to said he was a great man, a great family man.”

Though Henry ran for more than 5,000 yards in his Aliquippa career, the elite programs are pursuing him as a defensive back, figuring he can play safety or cornerback.

“I loved running the ball in high school, but you’ve got to chase your dream, so I guess defense is for me,” Henry said. “I’m a speed guy and I’ll come up and hit you, but obviously every player has something he needs to work on and that’s up to Coach Gibson to find out.”

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  • tw eagle

    the ratings for these young men is an estimate of what they might accomplish . . .
    what these young men DO accomplish has everything to do with HEART, WORK ETHIC,
    and DESIRE . . . I HOPE THE Mountaineers continue to recruit young men who want to be
    Mountaineers and want to play football , not just be in Morgantown for "the party" . . .

    don't coddle them coach . . . make them work , and about the time they turn 40 , they'll appreciate your efforts - if they've listened . . .

  • Art in Ohio

    sorry southwest pa....

  • Art in Ohio

    I had this player as a 3 star out of high school. Rivals has him at 2 stars and so on. I believe this is a good recruit for WVU---solid. What I like is that we are taking good players from south east Pa. This tells me that the flying WV is still a very good brand. This is becoming a very good class for the Mountaineers as seen below.

    ESPN top 300.....all four stars going to WV

    Dovante James WVU
    Jake McCray WVU
    Lamar Parker WVU
    Dravon Henry WVU

    Another possible top ESPN 300 recruit going to West Virginia is Donte Thomas William out of North Carolina. This would give WVU 5 players that are in the top 300 for ESPN.. This is good stuff people...Not to long ago if we had one recruit in the ESPN top 300 we considered that a major win for our program.

    Keeping the current coaching staff in place is paying off. BUT and a major BUT...DH has to turn this program around and it has to happen in 2014 or he will be looking for another job. This will depend on the improvement at the QB position for I believe all the other pieces are coming together. Solid QB equals a good season in 2014.

    • Steve

      You are right on target!

  • squad

    when we have to turn (hopefully the last time) to jc again for next year, it shows how depleated we were in the underclasses. people can criticize all they like but I don't know the last time we went into Pittsburgh like this (Rasheed Marshall?-but he wasn't a high profile sign really). Lets not forget that Pitt may have a lot to do with it (Did you see Henry's and his moms comments about the Pitt program?) I do think we are on the right track. I think next year may surprise some, but we will see.

  • cutty77

    If this kid was picked to go to Purdue,he must be pretty smart. On another note Oliver told the Big 12 Blogger that last year WVU spent 2 mill more on travel than in The Big East.

  • Mark

    A big Mountaineer welcome to both young men. They can help turn our program around.


    obviously every player has something he needs to work on and that’s up to Coach Gibson to find out.”, How that statements is true, witch leads me to ponder on last season, that just ended. what would I say the whole team would need to work on; would be knowing the game of football better, you know the do's and don'ts of College Football.
    I remember long time ago during a Pitt game WVU left a live ball on the carpet and Pitt took it the other way, I think for a touchdown. I was wondering if WVU has a Blunder tape / video to show the kids what not to do in the game of Football for fun...

    (like not catching a punt inside the five yard line)

    like missing a block and getting your QB killed...Dreamis Smith (you are my favorite back, I expect big things from you next season)

    Let's Gooooooooo!!Mountaineeeeeeeeeers!!!!

    • Protechcpa

      Good points. One has to wonder though, how did they get through PEE WEE football not knowing the three most important rules.......1) Protect the football. 2) Protect the football. 3) Protect the football.

  • Rich

    These last two signings are big. We have to continue to pull quality players out of the Pittsburgh area. Don Nehlen built our program getting kids from western PA, Ohio, NJ and speed from Florida. RichRod went into the south (LA, GA, AL) to get more speed but we really haven't gone there since he left. Dana will recruit Texas because that is his comfort zone but what happens when he leaves? Western PA will always be our backyard and we have to recruit it accordingly.

  • Big Dave

    Dana is landing some players, that's for sure. Now, the million dollar question . . . is he head coach material that can lead these great players?

    We shall see.

  • Chet Ubetcha

    *Christian Brown is the other nose tackle ahead of Darrien Howard. We have had a lot of Howards to talk about the last few days

  • Grant

    WVU is stockpiling some young talent the past two classes. Dana definitely has this to learn as a coach, but he should have the players to get the job done soon!

  • big tom

    we have some of the best recruiters that we've ever had at wvu,,,, it's up to dana to figure this thing out,,,, I would hate to lose any of these assistants because dana remained lost on HC level.
    Dana must mature, learn to be a leader, and not be bull headed, and keep this staff except for deforest,,, as soon as we can let this guy go, the better,,, he is a cancer on this staff, just like kilicki was on the BB team.
    we can't continue to pay a special teams coach half a mill. per yr,,, it's just not good for the other coaches making less and doning more

    • Hughesini

      I Concur. Solid Breakdown. Is it wrong that Imake opinions and generalizations on recruits based on where they are from? Florida skill position, Fast with moves..... Aliquippa kid..... tough as nails with an old school work ethic.... stereotypes are based on fact.

  • Marion County Native

    Good addition to the Mountaineer Program.

  • Kelly

    Let me tell you, I was very impressed with his interview on Sportsline tonight. Could not help
    But think we are forming the nucleus of another great defensive secondary aka years 88 thru 90.

    He seems to be a cross between Willie Edwards and Bo Orlando from seeing him play. Great cover speed but also a hard hitter.

    • Jerry Spiegler

      I'll always remember Tim Agee as a hard hitter in the defensive secondary. Nothing against Bo and Willie. They were really good. But Tim Agee was special.

      • Kelly

        Absolutely, Jerry. Agee was great. Man, as a receiver you took your risk cutting across that secondary. Agee was especially great at coming to the line and making the hit, as well.

    • John weaver

      I'll take that cross between any day.

  • Bill

    Welcome Jaleel. Glad you are a Mountaineer.