Glenville State lands Tiger football trio
Glenville, West Virginia was anointed little Lewisburg on Wednesday when three of the most highly decorated players in Marshall County history signed with Glenville State during national signing day.
Glenville State, a four-year public school located in the rural north central part of the state has been in operation since 1872 in the tiny town of just under 2,000 residents.
Playing in the recently constructed Mountain East Conference with nine schools across West Virginia, two from Ohio, and one from Virginia, the Pioneers finished the 2016 season with a 7-4 record with three of the losses coming with a combined eight points.
D'Andre Brown, the first player to attract the attention of the Pioneers coaching staff heads to West Virginia on the heels of a great senior season, but flew under the recruiting radar of other schools until he found a home in Glenville.
“The environment was very warming," Brown said. “The coaches and players there made you feel right at home from the jump."
“I just had a gut feeling that football would eventually be my go to sport if I wanted to go play at the next level," Brown, also a standout basketball player said.
Starting on both offense and defense, Brown finished with 260 yards on 40 attempts and two touchdowns along with eight receptions for 86 yards for a potent Tiger offense.
On the defensive side of the ball Brown finished with 54 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and three interceptions, good for second on the team.
"D'Andre had a great senior year," MCHS coach Thomas Osteen said. "Glenville State came on kind of late in the recruiting process, but they have a coach Jackson that saw his film and inquired and one thing led to another."
"D'Andre was the first guy that Glenville State contacted me about and that kind of led to Trey and J.Q. checking them out," Osteen continued. "With D'Andre I feel like he hasn't even played his best football yet. He can still improve a whole lot, has a great body and great skill set to play football."
With graduation just around the corner, D'Andre is already looking to his freshman year but will always hold Marshall County close to his heart.
"I'm expecting a lot of adversity and getting used to all the college life changes as in school, workouts, practices and coaches that are worse than Coach (Arnett Bodenhamer)," Brown laughed. "I'll remember the buildup of the culture and football program over the few years. Watching us go from that team that teams should somewhat worry about to a team that you better be ready for at all times."
Glenville got another steal in J.Q. Haislip the do-everything defensive back for the Tigers standout defense that allowed over 20 points just two times during the regular season.
Haislip also considered offers from Morehead State, Georgetown (KY), and Lindsey Wilson before settled on Glenville State.
"I don't really know (why I chose Glenville)," Haislip said. "With the last couple of days of deciding it just really stuck out to me. I'm really just looking for a new start and another chance to get to play. Looking ahead at my freshman year hopefully just getting some playing time and have an impact on the team."
Haislip had quite an impact on the Tigers defense, finishing fourth on the team with 77 tackles, six tackles for a loss, and two interceptions with 77 return yards. Haislip was selected as the Region MVP and was chosen to play in the Toyota East vs. West All-Star game as well as All-Region honors the past two seasons.
"I feel like J.Q. is another guy that when you see him he doesn't check all the boxes with height and weight but when you turn on the film the ferociousness he plays with, the competitiveness, how many bone crushing hits he had out there, every coach in the country wants somebody like that on his team," Osteen said. "Glenville State is getting a steal in J.Q."
“My best memory would probably be remembering the grind we had every day to all the success we had on Friday nights," Haislip said about his time in Lewisburg. "Or maybe the right to say we beat Giles twice my senior year."
Glenville State quite possibly picked up the best DII commitment in the country when it landed Tre Crutcher’s signature on signing day.
Crutcher chose the Pioneers over offers from Morehead State, Tusculum, Missouri Baptist, Lindsey Wilson, and Georgetown (KY) but decided on Glenville after taking the trip up the West Virginia on a visit.
“The people there made me feel at home," Crutcher said. "It was a shock honestly. And the feeling I got while I was there made me feel welcome and for my dad to love it just as much as me made it 10 times better."
"The recruiting process was stressful and long because coaches would contact and then I never heard from them again," Crutcher added. "So it was rough, but I never doubted that I wasn't going to get offered. My family and friends really got me through it telling me to stay positive and it'll come and without them I would have drove myself crazy."
Crutcher had a tremendous senior season leading the Tigers with 1,175 yards on 78 receptions for a team best 14 touchdowns finishing with over 1,500 all-purpose yards. Crutcher also played a huge role on defense in 2016 chipping in 10 tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery.
"I think Glenville is getting an absolute steal in Tre Crutcher," Osteen said. "He had multiple options on where to go. Of course I'm biased but I believe Tre could play higher level of football, low level DI and be a phenomenal football player."
"Every single measurable you see on the football field, route running, vision, burst, catching ability, he's got it," Osteen added. "I wouldn't be surprised if he has a phenomenal All-Conference, All-American career at Glenville State."
Crutcher would seem to agree with his coach.
"I'm expecting to come in and be the stud to the program," Crutcher said. “I’m gonna come in and give it my all as I did for MC. I also understand nothing is gonna be given to me, so I have to take it and that's what I plan on doing my first year."
And like his two future Pioneer teammates Crutcher will never forget the time he spent as a Marshall County Tiger.
"My best memories from Marshall County will always be 7 on 7's with my skilled guys and bonding and competing with them and having each other’s back," Crutcher said. "I will also never forget our pregame music and hype that we had before a game."