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Rodney Gallagher Admits Neal Brown Key to Staying Committed; Plans to Bring Change to WVU

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Soon after Rodney Gallagher calmed the nerves of Mountaineer Nation by confirming his commitment to the West Virginia football program, WVSN reached out to the 4-star athlete so WVU fans could hear right from the man himself.

Gallagher, now in the midst of wrapping up his high school basketball career, caused some concern among West Virginia fans when he took a visit to Penn State, widely believed the other school he was always seriously considering, towards the end of this college football season. This was especially of interest because WVU was still debating whether or not to retain head coach Neal Brown and his staff. Gallagher, and several other key commits, had made their wishes for WVU to keep Brown and his coaches well known.

But now nothing matters other than Gallagher will sign with the Mountaineers on Dec. 21 and West Virginia’s path forward, at least for 2023, is clear. “I love the staff, the culture, the fit and everything else about it,” Gallagher responded when asked what ultimately made him decide he had to publicly put an end to the speculation and proclaim WVU was the right place for him.

While Gallagher did end up staying true to the Mountaineers, the way he answered if he ever was on the verge of actually de-committing lends credence to all the talk and wondering about what one of the top recruits in Pennsylvania was going to do.

When directly asked if there was a time he considered pulling his commitment. “Honestly, I really didn’t know. I was just seeing how things were going to play out with Brown,” said Gallagher candidly. This answer also made official what many believed – if Brown was removed as head coach, Gallagher would not likely be coming to Morgantown. As a follow up based on the mention of Brown, the Laurel Highlands product was asked if Brown was in fact the the main factor in why he visited Penn State and all of a sudden appeared less committed to West Virginia. Gallagher was clear and direct. “For sure. I love that guy (Brown). A huge factor,” he said.

With his feelings about Brown, who will be entering a pressure cooker of a fifth season as WVU’s head coach at the start of the 2023 season, clear, the need to develop a relationship with the school’s new athletic director is the obvious next step. As to be expected, Gallagher said he does not know Wren Baker on a personal level, but he expressed being pleased by what he’s heard. Gallagher did admit to reading up and trying to study Baker some though, saying “he’s a great guy from what I’ve heard and read.” Based on that information, he then added “this is big time” with excitement about being part of a program run by Baker.

Gallagher closed his talk with WVSN with a simple message for Mountaineer Nation – “Be prepared, this program is about to change!”

This all comes just days after Gallagher announced an NIL agreement with The Pavement Group, making him the first-ever high school athlete in Pennsylvania to receive money while maintaining an amateur status.
Up next for Gallagher football competition wise is the Under Armour All-American Bowl in January. He closed out his tenure at Laurel Highlands by compiling 2,039 total yards of offense and 28 touchdowns while switching between quarterback and wide receiver during his senior season.
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