June 18, 2012

Dream realized: Wellman commits to WVU

A day after calling the scholarship offer from West Virginia a dream come true, Huntington (W.Va.) Spring Valley fullback Elijah Wellman made those dreams a reality Monday evening when he called the coaching staff to inform them that he was committing to the Mountaineers.

Wellman, 6-foot-2, 225-pounds selected the Mountaineers over Marshall, Bowling Green, Ohio and Charlotte and becomes the seventh member of the class of 2013.

He had originally planned to take a few days to think about his future after receiving an offer from West Virginia, but after talking it over with his family the opportunity was just too good to pass up for the in-state product.

"I decided not to wait around. There's a lot of things that helped me make the decision just growing up in West Virginia, it's awesome to get a WVU offer and another huge thing is the chance to play Big 12 football. There is nowhere close to home that I'd get to play the teams I'd play."

A first-team all-state selection, Wellman impressed the West Virginia coaching staff at the one-day camp last weekend with his footwork and skillset. Interest then only increased between the two parties from there, which culminated in the scholarship offer Sunday.

And on Monday night he called his running backs coach Robert Gillespie to give him the good news.

"He was ecstatic. He said he had to go outside and yell. He was putting his kids to sleep and had to go outside and yell," he said. "He was pumped and said it meant a lot to the state and takes a lot of weight off his shoulders to find the guy he was looking for and for it be a West Virginia kid."

Wellman cited his comfort level with Gillespie, along with the opportunity to play the highest level of football within the borders of his home state as two of the primary factors for making his decision. He admitted he had to fight the urge not to commit yesterday, but instead talked it over with his family.

Given his family ties with his brother playing at Marshall, he discussed the issue but received the full support of his family and he elected to do what he believed was best for him.

"I was thinking about it right then but figured I would wait a day and let everyone know and take it from there," he said. "But everyone said they would have committed right on the spot and they supported me."

A throwback football player, Wellman is being recruited to play fullback for the Mountaineers and will have no issues paving the way for his future teammates.

"I just want to play football and crack some heads," he said.

Wellman is completely finished with the recruiting process and plans to enroll next summer to begin his West Virginia career.

"It's a big weight off my shoulders too and I don't have to worry about it anymore. It's a done deal." he said. "It's like a dream. I can't really explain what it feels like, but I'm totally excited about getting to play for WVU. A lot of people have said they'd go out and buy a West Virginia shirt if I went there so it's great to know everyone is supporting me."

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