Aliquippa's Fields commits to WVU
By Kevin Gorman
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 11:57 a.m.
Before announcing his college choice, Jaleel Fields spoke with his parents and prayed about his decision.
Then the Aliquippa defensive tackle decided to make a verbal commitment to West Virginia, the second Quips player in three days to choose the Mountaineers.
“I felt comfortable there,” Fields said. “My mom and dad (John and Tinita) told me to choose the school that fits me. That's what I did.”
The 6-foot-2, 290-pound Fields, a four-year starter who was a three-time All-Midwestern Conference selection and a member of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25 as a junior, chose WVU over finalists Cincinnati and Purdue. Connecticut and Temple also offered.
Fields anchored a line that led the Quips to four consecutive appearances in the WPIAL Class AA final, including championships in 2011 and '12. He opened holes for the most prolific backfield tandem in WPIAL history in 5,000-yard rusher Dravon Henry and 4,000-yard rusher Terry Swanson. Henry on Monday committed to West Virginia, a day after Swanson committed to Toledo.
“We did discuss it, but it didn't really play a big part,” Fields said of Henry's choice. “It's not too far away from home. I liked the atmosphere on game day, the academic program and the coaches.”
WVU has 18 commitments in its 2014 recruiting class — three from the WPIAL in Fields, Henry and Gateway receiver Ricky Rogers.
Fields announced his decision Wednesday morning on Twitter, then spoke to West Virginia coaches.
“They were excited,” Fields said. “They said, ‘Welcome to the family.' ”
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.
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