MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Miramar-to-WVU pipeline expanded with Friday night’s surprising commitment of 2015 prospect Kendrell McFadden.
Rivals ranks the 6-foot-3, 178-pounder as the 12th-best safety in the 2015 class and the No. 236 overall prospect nationally. He became West Virginia’s fifth early commitment for next year, even though the Mountaineers weren’t listed among McFadden’s top five of Florida State, Miami, Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU.
Such is the mercurial nature of high school recruiting.
In an interview this week with the Miami Herald, McFadden said family members presumed he would commit to Miami and were excited he planned to play close to home.
“It was like, ‘Oh, you’re committing to UM, you’re committing to UM.’ And I just started laughing,” McFadden told the Herald. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what school I’m committing to yet. We’ll find out Friday.’ Even some of my family members don’t know.”
He also held offers from Ohio State, Florida, Clemson, Notre Dame, Louisville and Kansas State, but WVU’s ties to Miramar (Fla.) High have been strong in recent years, thanks in part to the school’s head coach Damon Cogdell being a West Virginia alum. Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen hired Cogdell on Wednesday as a defensive assistant, the same day McFadden’s high school classmate Kahlil Lewis committed to WVU.
West Virginia running backs coach JaJuan Seider has long been in contact with McFadden, who transferred to Miramar just last month from McArthur High School in Hollywood, Fla.
A high school cornerback, McFadden could have the speed and length to stay at that position in college. Yet Rivals recruiting analyst Keenan Cummings said at a program like West Virginia—which is desperate for defensive help—McFadden also projects to be a first-year contributor at safety.
McFadden becomes the fifth junior to pledge to West Virginia’s 2015 class, joining Lewis, receiver Jovon Durante (Miami), running back William Cameron (Durham, N.C.) and tight end Stone Wolfley (Morgantown).