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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
OT Lingafelter stressed over WVU flip

By Jared Shanker

Chagrin Falls (Ohio) offensive tackle Grant Lingafelter is someone who prides himself on loyalty. But he wasn’t ready for that loyalty to be tested as strenuously as it was these last few days.

Originally committed to Miami (Ohio), the three-star lineman Lingafelter was offered by West Virginia two weeks ago. He officially visited this past weekend and had a decision to make. In the end, his loyalties lie with himself. He flipped to West Virginia.

“I like to stick to my word and that’s the way I’ve been raised,” he said. “I can’t even put into words how hard it was. I’ve had to do some hard things in my life, but this was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Lingafelter came back from his visit to Morgantown on Sunday and left with a good idea he might want to play at West Virginia. In the 48 hours that passed between his departure and decision, he stressed over the idea of having to decommit from the RedHawks.

While he admits he believes he might be passing up a better business degree and education by leaving Miami, his goal was to always play football at a major conference. He could not say no to it.

“Miami and West Virginia are great at different things,” he said. “Miami has a better business school and West Virginia has better football. They both have great campuses, people, fanbases. It came down to the goal I’ve had since I was little. I didn’t want to let myself down and say down the road ‘I had an opportunity to play in the Big 12 and passed it up.' ”

Lingafelter talked with recruiter and future position coach Bill Bedenbaugh following the decision and is still waiting to speak with coach Dana Holgorsen, who called while Lingafelter was at work.

The plan is for Lingafelter to redshirt his freshman season. He estimates he is at 280 pounds now and will add more weight when he gets to Morgantown.

“I’m only 17 and I’ll only have been 18 a month when I get there,” he said. “A redshirt will make me a better player and help me reach my ultimate goal to play at the highest level.”