Avery Goff signs with West Liberty University

WILLIAMSTOWN -Since stepping in as a two-way starter as a sophomore, Avery Goff always has been an imposing figure for the Williamstown High School football program.

Now the senior enters the next chapter of his career after signing with West Liberty University on Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m looking forward to this not only because I’m going to West Liberty to play football, but I am also going there for education,” Goff said.

Since the conclusion of last season, Goff has been preparing for the college ranks while also training for the upcoming Yellowjacket baseball season. Goff is not your prototypical first baseman at 6-foot-3 and 287 pounds.

“Playing baseball helps Avery with his footwork,” Williamstown football and baseball coach Terry Smith said. “He needs pretty quick feet to be able to play baseball. The main thing is that he has become a leader.”

Smith and his assistants on the football team didn’t hesitate throwing Goff into the fire as a sophomore. By his junior year, he was elected a captain and maintained that status during the 2012 campaign.

“Avery has so much potential – his best football is yet to come,” Smith said.

West Liberty became the frontrunner on a list that also included Marietta College and Wittenberg University.

The West Liberty campus felt like a second home to Goff and reminded him of another version of Williamstown.

It didn’t hurt that former Williamstown standout David Huggins took Goff under his wings on a visit to West Liberty. Huggins will be entering his junior year as a starter at defensive end for a Hilltopper program that finished 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this past fall.

“David showed me around and and showed me all the good food joints,” Goff said.

“What really set me toward West Liberty was the academics. I want to be a teacher and they have a great teaching program.”

Goff was impressed by the coaching staff, including offensive line coach and strength and conditioning coordinator Dan Hopkins. West Liberty defensive line coach and director of football operations Brad Forshey formerly served as the line coach at Williamstown High School.

Goff is projected to be an offensive lineman, but the jury is still out whether he will line up at guard or tackle.

“With the work ethic we had at Williamstown, hopefully I’ll be ready for what awaits me at West Liberty,” Goff said.

Joining Goff at Tuesday’s signing were his step-mother Janelle West, along with his grandparents, Peggy and Bill Deaton. His grandfather was perhaps Goff’s toughest critic.

“He critiqued just about everything I tried to do,” Goff said. “But I love him dearly.”