BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – The Lowcountry and Coastal Empire have no shortage of excellent run-stopping interior defensive linemen. Beaufort’s Eamon Smalls is as good as any of them.

Smalls committed to West Virginia on June 12, choosing the Mountaineers over Liberty, East Carolina and Coastal Carolina, among other offers.

A 6-2, 295-pound prospect, Smalls ranks as a three-star recruit on 247Sports and one of the 25 best Class of 2023 players in South Carolina.

Smalls played a huge role as a disruptive A-gap force during Beaufort’s run to a Class 4A state title game appearance in 2021. With his senior season approaching, we thought it’d be a good idea to catch up on where he is going into the year.

Transcript has been lightly edited for grammar, syntax and clarity.

Q: What made you choose West Virginia?

A: I just loved it. I love the environment, I love the people there and the family environment. I just loved everything about it.

Q: How long have you actually been talking to them?

A: I’ve been talking to them since my sophomore year.

Q: Tell me a little about what those conversations have been like.

A: You know, we talk about how the games are going and everything. We’re just talking about coming up there for one of their games, touring their facility and getting to know everybody.

Q: Walk me through your recruiting process. It’s different for everybody; what was yours like?

A: Mine was probably a little slow at first and then it started picking up.

Q: For West Virginia fans, what are they getting in a player?

A: Someone who’s going to come in and work hard and someone who is going to play hard too. I just have to do everything I’ve been doing. Stopping the run, getting some pressures, everything like that.

Q: Talk to me a little bit about your team and what you all have learned about each other over the past couple of weeks

A: Over the past couple of weeks, we learned that everybody wants the same thing and everybody wants to reach the one goal and that is to win a championship. We went there last year and we couldn’t get the job done but everybody wants it more this year.

Q: What is the identity of this team? Is it defense, offense, what is it?

A: I think it’s both, really. We have a balance. It’s a little bit of both passing and running, you’re going to see some different things this year.

Q: If you had to describe your coach, what kind of coach would you say you have in Bryce Lybrand?

A: I say coach, he’s hard on you, but he’s loving. Everything he does is for a reason. We have some fun, but at the same time, we’re going to get coached.