West Virginia Mountaineers football gets commit from Ohio linebacker Chandler

West Virginia Mountaineers football gets commit from Ohio linebacker Chandler
As of last Tuesday, Canton (Ohio) McKinley linebacker Josh Chandler had never even been mentioned as a target for West Virginia. By Sunday afternoon, he was the latest member of the Mountaineers’ 2018 class. Chandler, a 5-foot-11, 215-pound prospect, made a last minute decision to camp at WVU earlier this week, and his showing there is what led to an offer from the coaching staff. He has a similar “bowling ball” type frame as current linebacker David Long, and showcased his tremendous ability to go sideline to sideline and cover running backs in the passing game. It was something he has shown at camps in the past, including at an event I witnessed last spring, where he was anointed the camp’s top defensive performer.

“The junior-to-be had some fairly impressive testing numbers, registering as one of the fastest prospects in the 40 and the three-cone drill, regardless of position,” I observed at the time. “It was during one-on-ones with the running backs, though, where he vaulted from ‘honorable mention’ to the top of the board for me. Rep after rep he was able to wrap up backs catching flare patterns before they could get up the field, making it seem far easier than it should have been. He’ll be a regular among Big Ten teams after this spring.”

West Virginia Mountaineers football gets commit from Ohio linebacker Chandler

West Virginia Mountaineers football

Instead of fielding offers from the Big Ten’s elite, he slipped through the cracks during the season before the West Virginia staff saw him at camp. Defensive coordinator Tony Gibson offered on the spot, and Chandler responded by committing almost as quickly. “It’s the best fit for me,” Chandler said about his decision. “I kind of fell in love with the place when I went there and I got a positive vibe from the coaches.” On Saturday night, Chandler decided it was no longer worth waiting and called up the coaching staff to tell them of his choice.

“They said they were really excited,” said Chandler. “I told [safeties] Coach [Matt] Caponi and he was very excited. He said I was the first linebacker to commit to the class and they were happy to have me.” Chandler says his recruitment is finished and he plans to return to Morgantown for a camp visit on July 22. He holds a two-star, 0.7667-rating in the 247Sports Composite as the nation’s 156th-ranked outside linebacker. He chose the Mountaineers over offers from Western Michigan, Marshall and more.

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Nehlen coached both Hostetler, his now son-in-law, and Bulger during their WVU careers. Both went on to the NFL. Hostetler played for the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins for a 15-year career that included a 1994 Pro Bowl berth and a Super Bowl XXV win. Bulger was drafted by the New Orleans Saints, but spent most of his career with the St. Louis Rams, being named twice to the Pro Bowl. McAfee was an All-American punter at WVU who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, spent eight seasons there and was named to two Pro Bowls.

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