Fort Mill’s Avery Wilcox will be following in his father’s football footsteps and will be heading to West Virginia as a walk-on.
Submitted photo

FORT MILL – Avery Wilcox didn’t have a lot of offers to play football in college, but all he needed was the right one.

Wilcox, 17, will be following in his father’s footsteps and will be walking on at West Virginia University to play football.

“My dad played there so it’s like continuing a family tradition,” Wilcox said.

Ray Wilcox played football at West Virginia in 1992 and won the Tom Nickolich Memorial Award that season, which is given to the top walk-on in the program every year.

The younger Wilcox will be playing safety at West Virginia and was given a preferred walk-on spot on the team, guaranteeing him a spot on the team. He said he realizes he will probably be red shirted his freshman year.

Wilcox said Division II and Division III teams such as Hampden-Sydney University in Virginia and Methodist University in North Carolina reached out, but wanted something more he said.

“I never really seriously considered those schools,” he said.

Fort Mill head coach Rob McNeely sent film of Wilcox to several schools including West Virginia. In the end it was a coach from the Mountaineers that reached out.

“Coach McNeely really helped a lot,” Wilcox said. “He got my film in their hands.”

Wilcox said he had planned on just going to school as a student, but hadn’t planned on playing football.

“It was in the back of my head to go there, but when they said they had a guaranteed spot, that sealed the deal for me,” he said.

Wilcox has been playing football since he was 6-years-old and the past two seasons he has played on varsity for Fort Mill. He plans on majoring in computer science.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep