Travis Bell will be in town to watch the Mountaineers battle the Pirates this weekend. Will you?
Or at least that's what's apparently on the minds of an impressive collection of youngsters from the Miami area this week. If you check out Scout.com's visit list for this coming weekend, you'll see a lot of stars. And while that kind of um, star power, hasn't traditionally made its way to Morgantown for many visits in years past, the triumvirate of Bill Stewart, Chris Beatty and Doc Holliday (who is largely responsible for this weekend's group), has begun to reel in some top shelf talent. And as the coaches always say, once you get the kids on campus, it's a whole new ballgame.
On top of their sheer ability (which is always nice to have, regardless of position), these guys seem to fit the areas where WVU has the greatest need, at least as far as this class is concerned: o-line, d-line, wide reciever, and the defensive backfield. Thus, any type of commitment would go a long way in solidifying what is already and impressive haul of talent. The Gazette's Mitch Vingle does a nice job of breaking down the visitors and current verbals here, but, as always, I'm going to pitch in my two pennies after the jump.
The most important visitors this weekend are the three verbals---Quinton Spain, Robert Clark, and Fred Pickett. Why are they important? Well, there's the whole "bird in the hand" thing. It's good to get these kids on campus and reaffirm our commitment to them, and vice versa. But on top of that, they are integral to the recruitment of the major players, namely Matt Elam, Chris Dunkley, Antonio Ford, Zachary Allen, and Richard Ash (who was rumored to have been on the brink of a commitment earlier this year). Even though Elam is currently committed to Florida (and Dunkley is widely believed to end up there as well), the presence of Elam's teammate and close friend Robert Clark can only help sway him in our direction. Ditto for Pickett and teammates Dunkley, Ford, Allen and Ash. (Holy smokes is Pahokee loaded or what?)
Recruiting is often about making kids feel comfortable and at home on your campus, and bringing several kids from the same area or high school in at the same time can only contribute to that type of environment. Add in Travis Bell and Darius Millines, both of whom are heavy WVU leans and also hail from "the Muck", and you have a nice contingent of south Floridians who all happen to be very good at football. If Bell and Millines hit it off with, say, Elam and Ford, a Monday commitment by Bell (which is entirely possible, as noted by Dr. West yesterday) may set off a chain reaction with the other three. Then you just have to wait out the sleepless nights and message boards meltdowns as WVU tries to fend off Florida, OSU, Georgia, and everyone else until signing day arrives.
Frankly, a commitment from any of these visitors would be huge---just look at their offer lists and you can tell they can really play. But a scenario where Elam or Dunkley ends up in Morgantown as part of a package deal---while a major coup---isn't completely out of the question. That's why WVU needs a big win in a raucous environment on Saturday. We need to show these kids that they play big boy football in Touchdown City. So, if you see any of these kids out and about during your time in Morgantown this weekend, make sure to give them
your car, all the cash in your wallet, and the phone number of every hot girl you know a big smile, maybe a high-five, and a warm welcome to West-By-God.