West Virginia has recruited Pennslyvania strongly this cycle, and WVU head coach Neal Brown has managed to go into Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and secure a talented athlete over an in-state powerhouse.
Three-star athlete Raleigh Collins III announced Friday afternoon, via Twitter, that he picked WVU over Penn State to become the 15th member of WVU’s 2022 recruiting class. The versatile defender from Neumann-Goretti High School becomes the first recruit from neighboring Pennsylvania to sign with WVU in 2022.
333% COMMITTED….💙 pic.twitter.com/q9nh6b7Z2L
— Raleigh Collins III (@_RaleighCollins) July 23, 2021
With offers from Army, Boston College, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Howard, Kansas, Maryland, UMASS, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Temple and WVU, Brown managed to snag Collins from the in-state powers and other Power Five teams.
“I really felt comfortable and at home with the coaching staff and on campus,” Collins told West Virginia Sports Now. “I felt like I belong here. Also, I am being recruited for a position that could make me a very versatile player in the long run.”
After a long recruiting process, Collins said that finally settling down and confirming his commitment is both a relief and a blessing. After all, “it was always my dream to play D1 football and be on scholarship,” Collins said.
According to 247Sports, Collins is the 548th-rated recruit in the cycle. 247Sports ranks him as the 55th-rated linebacker while Rivals ranks him as the 57th-rated cornerback. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, with experience across the defense at Neumann-Goretti, his versatility is both what attracted WVU and what allowed WVU to secure his signature.
“West Virginia’s just got very aggressive and physical players that can play linebacker, cornerback and safety,” Collins said. “I’m very excited for what’s ahead for our class and we aren’t done yet. WVU fans have shown me so much love and brought me home.”
Another lure for Collins, a sentiment that has been echoed by recruits and commits alike in the 2022 cycle, is Brown’s vision for the future of the program.
“Coach Brown is making a historical class, and we aren’t done yet,” Collins said. “We got another one on the way that I’m very excited for as well. It’s only uphill for West Virginia.”
With Collin’s Neumann-Goretti teammate, four-star wide receiver Kevin Thomas, currently projected to land with WVU, one can’t help but wonder if Thomas or another four-star recruit like linebacker Travious Lathan or athlete Jaden Mangham is landing with WVU soon. Dare I say all three?
Collins is the fifth WVU commit in the month of July, joining four-star cornerback Jacolby Spells, four-star running back Justin Williams, three-star athlete Christion Stokes and three-star offensive lineman Landen Livingston.