QB recruit visiting this weekend, says he’s been told Pelesasa has left team

Zach Greenwell

There will be a potential quarterback of the future on campus for WKU this weekend, but that recruit says a current signal caller may be off the roster.

James Mauro, a senior quarterback at L.D. Bell High School in Hurst, Texas, said Tuesday that WKU coaches have told him junior quarterback Matt Pelesasa is no longer with the Toppers.

“I know (sophomore) Kawaun’s (Jakes) got two years left,” Mauro said via phone interview. “They just had a JUCO guy that just came in, but now he’s going to leave.”

WKU officials could not confirm Pelesasa’s departure from the team as of Wednesday. Todd Stewart, senior associate athletic director, said in a statement that Head Coach Willie Taggart is out of town recruiting and unavailable for comment.

Stewart said Taggart would be available at a later time for comments on roster and personnel changes.

Pelesasa transferred to WKU last spring from the College of San Mateo, where he passed for 1,621 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2009.

He was the frontrunner for WKU’s quarterback job in the spring after receiving most of the reps with sophomore quarterback Kawaun Jakes injured. But a sore throwing arm hampered Pelesasa during fall camp, and Jakes was eventually named the starter.

Pelesasa played in four games for the Toppers this season but never threw a pass.

The Herald was not able to reach Pelesasa for comment.

If Pelesasa is indeed no longer with the team, that leaves just Jakes and freshman Brandon Doughty as quarterbacks on WKU’s roster.

“From what I’ve been told, they’re talking about possibly taking two quarterbacks to fill that void,” Mauro said. “That’s what I know.”

Mauro, who stands 6 foot 7 inches, completed 121-of-212 passes for 1,676 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior. He is also playing basketball as a center for L.D. Bell.

“I think I see the field pretty well and make smart decisions,” Mauro said. “I think I’m pretty accurate, and if I have to, I can make a play with my feet. But I can step up and make a throw too.”

Mauro said he will take an official visit to WKU this weekend and that the Toppers are currently his only scholarship offer. He said he’s also being recruited by Marshall, Duke and Wake Forest among others.

He’s primarily been recruited for WKU by defensive backs coach Clayton White, who Mauro said had just left his house Tuesday.

“I just want to see what it’s like in the area and if I feel comfortable,” Mauro said. “I want to see how academics are and if I could have a good future after college. I just want to feel what it’s like on the campus. We’ll see how it goes.”