Zane Zandier could be next great WVU LB


WVU’s linebackers in the past few seasons have set the tone for what future Mountaineers should strive to become.

Players like Nick Kwiatkoski, Jared Barber and Shaq Petteway reached their full potential by working hard each day. On the field, the were leaders and off the field, they overcame adversity to finish off their WVU careers on the highest of notes.

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Zane Zandier is just in the early stages of finding out what player he can be at the next level. The prep linebacker from the Pittsburgh area is slowly starting to gain attention and could blow up as the next big thing in recruiting, sometime this fall.

At Thomas Jefferson High School, Zandier is rated as a three-star recruit. He is coming off a successful junior year where he and his teammates captured the Class AAA WPIAL Championship at heinz Field in November.

The Jaguars finished the campaign with an 11-3 record, playing all the way into December in the state playoffs. TJ, as the school is affectionately known, dropped a tough luck decision to powerhouse Erie Cathedral Prep, 28-21, on Dec. 4.

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In his three-year high school career, Zandier has been a part of 32 varsity victories as the Jaguars have captured 11 wins in each of the past three season. Thomas Jefferson is the epitome of consistency in Western Pennsylvania and that’s a big nod to the fast play of Zandier at linebacker.

At this weekend’s camp in Morgantown, Zandier was one of hundreds of prep prospects who wanted to get one last shot at impressing the college coaches before they start to prepare for the Mountaineers’ upcoming season.

WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, who heavily recruits the Pittsburgh area, likely got a good luck at what Zandier has to offer. He is 6-foot-4 and weighs just over 200 pounds.

That body type strikes fear into opposing high school teams. With a collegiate workout regimen, he will fight right in at the Division I level. On top of WVU, Zandier is also entertaining interest from  Syracuse and Toledo.

Zandier, the 11th best prospect in Pennsylvania and No. 40 outside linebacker in the country, plans to be just as consistent as his high school football program. He can lead Thomas Jefferson to a state title this season and his college commitment will happen when he is ready.

After this past weekend, WVU remains fresh in his mind. In turn, Zandier will stay at the top of Gibson’s want list before his team prepares for camp.