MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Noah Braham has known West Virginia University football all his life.
Not long from now, he’ll be a part of it.
On Wednesday morning, the University High product inked his letter-of-intent to play for the Mountaineers, where Braham will follow in the footsteps of his father and former WVU legend Rich Braham.
“It means a lot to me to play at my hometown school,” Braham said. “I grew up watching the Mountaineers play since I was little. My dad played there and I’m a big fan of Mountaineer football. I always have been. It’s going to be a dream come true to play there.”
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Braham split time between tight end, linebacker and along the defensive line at UHS. He is expected to play offense at the next level.
“I’m going in as a tight end,” Braham said. “They said I could play on defense, but right now, it’s offense.”
Braham battled an ankle injury during his junior season that limited his play over the second half of the 2021 season. He overcame it to make a strong impression on the WVU coaching staff in the summer, including at the Mountaineers’ one-day camp and 7-on-7 event.
“My goal has always been to play at WVU, and my goal this summer was to go to camp, compete and prove that I deserved an offer,” he said. “I went there, did that and then I committed and it’s history.”
Braham’s injury resurfaced during the Hawks’ 2022 season opener and there was initially fear that he suffered a broken ankle. However, that proved not to be the case and Braham returned after missing several games. He went on to finish with 38 receptions for 489 yards and six touchdowns.
“I had to trust the process and allow myself to get 100 percent healed before I came back,” Braham said. “It took a while, but it was worth it.”
That followed a junior campaign in which Braham caught 16 passes for 350 yards and three TDs.
Brown’s father, Rich Braham, had a standout career at WVU. He began as a walk-on before earning a scholarship and ultimately anchored the offensive line from his left tackle spot. In 1993, Rich Braham was a senior captain that started every game for the Mountaineers, who finished that regular season unbeaten.
Braham, now an assistant coach at UHS, became a third-round pick in the 1994 NFL Draft by the Phoenix Cardinals and went on to play 13 seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals.
“It means a lot to follow in my dad’s footsteps,” Noah Braham said. “My dad would’ve been happy if I went anywhere else, but choosing WVU is pretty special to all of us.”
WVU head coach Neal Brown, who said Wednesday that Braham will begin his college career playing H-back, couldn’t help but notice Braham’s play during summer camp in Morgantown.
“Noah didn’t get a scholarship because he’s from the Cheat Lake area, went to University or because he’s Rich’s kid,” Brown said. “He got a scholarship because in back-to-back years in 7-on-7s he was one of the best players here. He was dominant for his level and with his versatility.”
Despite uncertainty around the WVU football program and the status of Brown since Braham’s commitment to the Mountaineers in June, the UHS product never wavered on his decision throughout the recruiting process.
“I had trust in the process and knew Neal Brown was going to stay as head coach,” Braham said. “I love the coaches and staff.”
Braham said sticking with West Virginia was also made easier as a result of his connection with tight ends coach Sean Reagan and recruiting assistant Drew Casa.
“I have a good relationship with coach Brown and coach Reagan, but I also have a really good relationship with Drew Casa,” Braham said. “He had a big impact in my recruiting process and he’s a really good dude.”