Cover Photo Courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics
As Head Coach Neal Brown and his staff are gearing up for the 2022 football season, lest we forget about the upcoming West Virginia High School football season and our in-state recruits. Neal Brown and company will tell you that recruiting never stops, and obviously the fall schedule will dictate where Brown and his staff prioritize their efforts.
When it comes to West Virginia high school football, nobody in the state does it better than the nine-time class AAA state champion, Martinsburg Bulldogs from the Eastern Panhandle.
The culture and work ethic that is maintained within the program are second to none. As the old saying goes, “If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best!” and that is just what the Bulldog culture is all about.
With Martinsburg being a 3-hour drive from Morgantown, Neal Brown and his staff will have a great opportunity to witness some of the best talent that West Virginia has to offer, including one of the top high school programs in the state of Virginia, the Springers of Highland Springs High School, (Richmond, Va.) will be making its way through the Shenandoah Valley to take on #1. Martinsburg at David M. Walker Stadium, September 16th.
You ask why this game would be so attractive for Neal Brown? Well, to put this in perspective, the Highland Springs High School Football program won 4 straight Virginia 5A State Championships, the last one in 2018. Last year falling in the state championship to Stone Bridge High School out of Northern Virginia. Head Coach Loren Johnson, a former Virginia Tech player has churned out major power 5 talent every single year and this year will be no exception.
The Springers have at least 10 players with offers from power 5 schools such as Ole Miss, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Virginia, North Caroline, Pitt and many more. The #2 ranked corner back prospect in the country of the 2024 class, Noah Jenkins is a kid that West Virginia has offered along with defensive end Miles Green and QB Kristian Martin.
Martinsburg will also have division 1 prospects on the field this year with MLB Senior Kamden Shallis having several offers including West Virginia. Junior QB/FS Murphy Clement has also turned heads during the off season. Murphy currently holds an offer from Old Dominion with many more to come. QB Murphy Clement attended the Jim Harbaugh recruiting camp in Ann Arbor Michigan this summer torching every single Qb and running back with his 40 time. WR Roman Pearson is another kid on the Bulldogs team that is blazing fast and getting attention from the likes of Virginia Tech. Pearson has a 40 time of 4.3 seconds with super hands at the WR position. CB/FS Sirod Musgrove also being recruited by Virginia Tech and Louisville.
Last year, Martinsburg beat the Highland Springs Springers 26-25 in a very hard-fought battle on the road. I think it is fair to say that it is time that Neal Brown start paying more attention to the talent in the Eastern Panhandle, and given the locality of Martinsburg, that should be a no brainer when it comes to recruiting.
On September 16th at David M. Walker stadium under the Friday night lights, you will see two heavyweight’s clash in what will be nothing short of epic. West Virginia hosts Towson State that weekend so I fully expect coach Brown and his staff to be present along with many others. It’s time to put some respect on West Virginia high school football.