Not so long ago, Chase Stafford had no plans for college football—or any kind of football.
The 6-7, 270 Westside lineman had no interest in the sport until friends talked him into playing in the eighth grade. Even then, he says, he only planned to play one year.
That changed quickly.
“I fell in love with the game,” Stafford said last Thursday as he signed as a preferred walk-on at WVU.
He likes the fact that the game can be “completely physical” with “no hard feelings” afterward.
Stafford’s size attracted the interest of the Mountaineer coaches at a football camp last summer.
“I got a letter one day from the coordinating director (Ryan Dorchester),” he said. He was invited to attend a WVU game with him and eventually attended several.
Stafford is a big Mountaineer fan. “My mom graduated from WVU,” he noted.
He expects to spend a “lot of time in the weight room like I have the last four years.”
“Chase is very coachable and understands the game pretty well,” Westside coach Larry Cook commented.
Cook says he hopes the younger players on his team will see that “you don’t have to be an all-state running back to play college football. You can be a lineman or a linebacker.”
In an area where where few reach Division I, the coach says he wants “people to know they are preferred walk-ons, not just guys trying out for the team.
“Playing in Division I is a different world,” he said.