Keyser

Seated, left to right, are Keyser High’s Jeremy Green (Ohio), Matt Wilmer (Fairmont State) and Taige Redman (West Virginia), shown signing letters of intent to continue their football careers in the fall. In back row, left to right, are Coach Scott Furey, James Walker, Eve Green, Lori Wilmer, Athletic Director Ken Griffith, Coach Steve Delaney, Coach Eric Miller, Penny White, Head Coach Sean Biser and Principal Charles Wimer. All three players received full scholarships.

KEYSER, W.Va. — Taige Redman, Jeremy Green and Matt Wilmer, three of the main weapons on Keyser High School’s Area champion football team, used the early hours of National Signing Day to accept scholarship offers from interested universities.

Times-News Co-Defensive Player of the Year Redman signed a last-minute offer to attend West Virginia University. Player of the Year Matt Wilmer is headed to Fairmont State and Jeremy Green decided on Ohio University. Ohio and WVU are members of the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I) while Fairmont plays in Division II.

• Redman had made a verbal commitment to join Green at Ohio, but got an offer from the Mountaineers moments before signing with the Bobcats and chose to stay in his home state.

“Taige was so marketable to colleges because of his unique set of skills,” said Keyser head coach Sean Biser. “He’s a good pass rusher, but is also able to keep up with running backs in coverage.”

“I think Taige is a “tweener,” being able to play linebacker and defensive lineman,” Biser added. “I think he’d be a great outside linebacker in whatever defensive scheme he’s in.”

Redman, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, was first-team Class AA All-State as a junior and senior and was runner-up for the Sam Huff Award given to the state’s best linebacker as a senior. This past season he recorded 119 tackles with 56 solos, and 12 for losses. He had eight sacks, forced four fumbles and recovered four more. He returned one fumble and one interception for touchdowns.

Redman was also pursued by Marshall University.

• Green was recruited by Ohio as an athlete, and Biser thinks he will most likely free safety.

“They were able to see him on film and he attended one of their camps, so they got a a good look at him and liked his athleticism,” he said.

“I think they will try to put him at free safety, but he could be a great wide receiver for them as well. He’s played both cornerback and safety for us, and closes on the football well. He’ll need to work on his defensive recognition at the next level, but he’ll be fine at either position. I think that because he has such a large catch radius that he could play wide receiver.”

Green was a first-team selection to the Class AA All-State and Times-News All-Area teams, as a defensive back. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior had five interceptions with 152 return yards and took one pick back for a touchdown. He was sixth in the area in all-purpose yardage with 115.7 yards a game.

• Wilmer’s signing is considered a steal by Biser. “I think that Fairmont is getting a Division I athlete that fell through the cracks.

“He’d be a great strong safety-type,” Biser added. “With his experience at outside linebacker he’s had to do a little of both covering and hitting, and would need to only add a few pounds to really fit the mold. He already has great speed and explosiveness to the ball.

Biser believes that Wilmer could pay immediate dividends for the Falcons on special teams. “He could make a huge difference as a kick returner for them, maybe even playing as a true freshman.”

Besides being named the Times-News Player of the Year, Wilmer garnered second-team honors as a defensive back on the Class AA All-State squad despite playing as a linebacker. He was the area leader with 148.3 all-purpose yards a game, and fourth in rushing at 103.7 yards per contest. He averaged 9.8 yards every carry, and his 120 points scored ranked third in the area. Defensively, he was credited with three fumble recoveries and one interception.

Biser knows he was fortunate to have coached all three players.

“Most coaches are lucky to have one Division I kid every five or six years. To have two go DI and another D II is amazing. It just doesn’t happen very often.”

Besides the talent that all three athletes had, Biser may miss the intangibles they offered even more.

“Two of them have started for four years and the other for three. Its hard to replace the leadership on the field, in the weight room and in the classroom from players that have been important for that long. They were great for the team atmosphere, led by example, and were full of class. I think their leadership will last for years to come through the younger kids.”

He also described how it feels as a coach when one of your players continue on to college.

“It’s as if one of your own kids was signing. I’ve watched these kids from the middle school level, and as a coach you can sometimes spend as much time with them as their parents, so it becomes personal.”

The Keyser coach also hopes that by these players signing it will bring more attention to other area athletes.

“We’re sort of hidden here in the West Virginia panhandle and Western Maryland. I think a lot of schools pass us by, and maybe this will help them take more notice.”

Chris Appel is a sportswriter for the Cumberland Times-News. Contact Chris Appel at cappel@times-news.com.

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