Prep football: Switzer named Parade All-American
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- George Washington senior Ryan Switzer has already made a key mental transition.
"For me, high school's done," Switzer said Sunday afternoon. "I don't play any high school sports. I view myself right now as a freshman at a high Division I school; one that's going to be successful next year and in years to come, so the goal is to prepare myself for next season."
It therefore came as more than a pleasant surprise to Switzer - who won the Kennedy Award as the state's top prep football player in 2011 and 2012 - that he will be on the Parade All-American list when it is released nationally next weekend.
The University of North Carolina commitment, who was recruited as a wide receiver, won his Kennedy Awards by landslide votes among West Virginia sportswriters.
Switzer is the first player from West Virginia to be named to the team since 2007, when Josh Jenkins from Parkersburg High School was named as a lineman.
Switzer is the 15th player from the Mountain State to make the list since it was first compiled in 1963.
Switzer is the second player from George Washington to be named to the Parade team.
Former West Virginia lineman John Ray was named after his senior year of 1986. The last player from the Kanawha Valley to be named by the magazine was former Marshall star and current San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss, following the 1994 season.
"The last one from my area was Randy Moss? That's big shoes to fill," Switzer said. "Obviously, I feel blessed and honored to be in that position.
"To have these awards keep coming after my season has ended, it just shows that everything I put in has been worth it for high school; especially what happened out there in California. It's been great."
Earlier in January, Switzer caught the winning touchdown pass in the Semper Fi All-American game in Anaheim, Calif., a game that was televised nationally by ESPNU.
Switzer carried the ball 206 times for 2,379 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior, leading the injury-depleted Patriots to the Class AAA playoff semifinals and a 10-3 record.
He caught 20 passes for 253 yards and four touchdowns, and returned three interceptions for scores from his defensive position of cornerback.
Of the 15 Parade All-Americans from West Virginia, nine accepted scholarships to play at West Virginia.
Curt Warner, who starred at Pineville and was a 1987 All-Pro running back with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, was the first from the state that was named to the team and opted to play college football outside the state.
Warner, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009, played for Coach Joe Paterno at Penn State, and was a standout on the Nittany Lions' 1982 national championship team.
There have been six players - Walter Easley, Robert Alexander, Warner, Moss, Yubrenal Isabelle and Eddie Drummond - who went to school in the Mountain State that were named to the Parade All-American team and later played in the NFL. Drummond, who played at Linsly School in Wheeling, was from Pittsburgh.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at email@example.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.