West Virginia University landed its first football commitment of 2018 in a big way – literally and physically. James Gmiter, the 6-foot-4, 305 pound junior from Bethel Park, announced his commitment yesterday via Twitter.
“I knew it was West Virginia from the beginning when I first walked into the stadium,” Gmiter said. “I loved they way I fit down there. Coach (Dana) Holgorsen is a good coach and a nice guy. He is someone I want to lead me the next four or five years of my football career.”
Gmiter first visited West Virginia last spring in a game against Youngstown State University. The Mountaineers won the game 38-21.
Gmiter also received Division I offers from Wisconsin, Temple and Cincinnati, but knew none of those schools would compare to his first visit.
It was imperative that Gmiter committed before his senior season for a number of reasons. Now with the commitment, Gmiter doesn’t have to worry about what would happen if an injury were to occur or doesn’t have to face a psychological wall that many seniors face, which ends up interfering with their play at times. What he didn’t know is that his decision would end him at the top of the list of commitments for 2018 at West Virginia.
“It is special to be their first commit,” Gmiter said. “I didn’t expect that.”
“It was a big deal to get the decision done before my senior season. Now I can just focus on playing. Coach (Jeff) Metheny talked to me a couple weeks ago and told me the importance of committing before my senior season. This way I don’t have to worry about getting hurt.”
At Bethel Park, Gmiter is used as a two-way player. On offense, he anchors the right side of the line at the tackle position. But it will be the defensive side of the ball where Gmiter’s talents will be utilized at the next level. The Mountaineers plan on using him at the nose guard position, where his size can take up and plug multiple gaps at once.
“I have used my size and height to my advantage,” Gmiter said. “I am most proud of myself on being relentless and getting to the quarterback no matter what it takes.”
Gmiter committed while he was in San Antonio, Tx. for the U.S. Army combine.
“It was a good experience,” Gmiter said. “I got to play and compete one-on-one with the top kids in the country.”