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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  • Mountain Man

    Maybe with all the new recruits and all the talent already there and also coming in and with the ex ohio state president taking over at wvu as president maybe and just maybe he could get Jim Tressel to considering taking the head coaching job at wv and have dh as offensive coordinator... Just a thought!!!

    • TruthTeller

      No thanks. WVU does not need NCAA violations and sanctions. I would go to sleep watching those Ohio State games. Boring offense.
      OSU could never beat teams with real talent.
      They are always over rated every year just like Notre Dame.

  • clair thompson

    Good timing for good news.

  • farm kid

    starting this year dana has been able to red shirt players something he could not have done in 2012 or 2011. 2014 group of players most will be red shirted which is a good sign. as fan I would rather see 19 year olds play than kids just out of high school, which dana had to do in 2012 and 2013. an item I would do is take #29 and #13 and place them inside as receivers. inside is still thin on talent, the two have been in the program for 3 years. I vision them as a tarvon and baily quick and fast put them into space.

  • New Recruit?

    Welcome to the train wreck

  • stevewvu

    Another great pick up by the coaching staff! they have rally hit the recruiting trail hard to make up for the lack of #'s when they arrived.

    Let's Go Mountaineers!

  • 1oleWVUFan

    I was looking at Sports? the other day and noticed that some of WVU's Commits were listed as both a 4 and 3 Star depending on who was doing the rating. It appears that WVU has 4 or 5 4-Star Commits, which I think is awesome.

    Looking at the High School players still available there are still several 4 ad 5 Star candidates on the board. I truly hope WVU can land a few more of these guys and perhaps even land a 5-Star or two.

    The current recruiting class of commits shows the job the current coaching staff is doing. I applaud these coaches for their hardwork!

    Go EERS

  • Bob

    Welcome, Dravon, Skylar and Jeleel to Mountaineer Nation. Wishing you all the very best in the classroom, weight room and on the field. Get ready, be ready.....great things are about to return to Mountie football.
    Thanks for joining WVU.

  • 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.