Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
With a little more than three weeks to go until National Signing Day on February 6, we take a look at the Mountaineers' recruiting class so far and its remaining targets.
Previously, we broke down WVU's minimum recruiting needs for the class of 2013. Then, in December, we updated that list in light of developments throughout the season. Since then, there have been several developments including new verbals, then enrollment of several players for spring classes, the departure of Steve Dunlap and Jake Spavital, and the addition of Tony Gibson, Brian Mitchell and Lonnie Galloway, all reputed to be outstanding recruiters, to Dana Holgorsen's staff. Given all that, where do we stand as we enter the home stretch?
Several players from the class of 2013 enrolled in January and are on campus ready to participate in spring drills. Those players include LB Hodari Christian, S Maalik Greaves, QB Chavas Rawlins, WR Daikel Shorts and RB Wendell Smallwood. The JUCO players who were expected to enroll early (RB Dreamius Smith, S Terrell Pinson, and WRs Kevin White and Ronald Carswell) are reportedly not enrolled, but apparently will not have any issues. Three of those players can count back toward last year's class, meaning six will count forward to 2013.
DL D'Asian Richardson switched his pledge from the Mountaineers to Louisville. However, Richardson is rumored to have grade issues and may not qualify, so his loss may not be that big of a deal. Expect the Mounties to add one or two DL recruits in the last couple weeks to make up for his loss, though.
JUCO OLB D'Vante Henry and OL Stone Underwood gave their pledges to the Mountaineers. Henry is a fantastic prospect, standing at 6'6 and 215 lbs, and chose WVU over offers from Oregon State, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. He also visited his favorite team growing up, Oklahoma, but stayed true to his verbal and should sign with the good guys on February 6. Underwood should compete at the guard position at 6'4, 285 lbs, and had offers from Memphis and UMass as well as interest from Kentucky and Ole Miss.
With six of the early enrollees counting forward, the Mountaineers are left with these verbals: RBs Deshawn Coleman, Zaire Williams, Elijah Wellman, and Jacky Marcellus, OL Marcell Lazard, Tyler Tezeno and Stone Underwood, LBs D'Vante Henry, Al-Rasheed Benton, Isaac McDonald, Darrien Howard, and Marvin Gross, and DB Daryl Worley. That accounts for 19 of the 25 available scholarships in the class of 2013, meaning the Mountaineers can take 6 more.
Here is the current breakdown of recruits who are yet to enroll (with early enrollees in bold and current commits in italics):
Quarterback: (Chavas Rawlins) We don't need to take any more quarterbacks in this class, but the #1 JUCO dual-threat QB, Tanner McEvoy, is down to WVU and Oregon, and he's a guy we would definitely take based on his athleticism alone. He can't enroll til the summer, so his decision is pending now that he has visited both schools. He may even end up at WR if he doesn't pan out as a QB. Also of note, current Florida backup QB Jacoby Brissett, a former 4-star out of Dwyer, FL, has decided to transfer and is down to WVU and NC State. He won't count toward this class, but his transfer is an intriguing prospect nonetheless.
Skill (RB/WR/TE): (RBs Deshawn Coleman, Zaire Williams, Jacky Marcellus, Wendell Smallwood, Dreamius Smith; WRs Daikiel Shorts, Ronald Carswell, Kevin White) Even if a couple RBs switch positions, we're likely done there, but another WR or two could still be on the list just to have some depth. Pennsylvania native Tyler Boyd ended up committing to Pitt for reasons unknown to anyone south of Point Marion. Shelton Gibson is reportedly deciding between WVU and Ohio State, Kwamane Bowens is considered a WVU lean, and Jatavious Stewart is a JUCO who has WVU on his short list.
Offensive Line: (Marcell Lazard, Tyler Tezeno, Stone Underwood) That makes 3 for this class, but I've been saying all along we take 4 here, so look for one more OL to commit between now and National Signing Day. No idea who that might be, though.
Defensive Line: We need probably 2 DL in this class, but again I'm light on names. Marcus Hardison is one to watch here. Ufomba Kamalui is another JUCO who could land in Morgantown.
Linebacker: (Al-Rasheed Benton, Isaac McDonald, Elijah Wellman, Darrien Howard, Hodari Christian, Marvin Gross, D'Vante Henry) Even with Wellman likely moving to fullback and Marvin Gross being more an edge rusher (think Josh Francis), we are likely full at linebacker with another very strong class.
Defensive Back: (Daryl Worley, Malik Greaves, Terrell Pinson) Oh, you think we could use an infusion of talent in the defensive backfield? Me too. But you don't take just anyone. Lamar Robbins and Marquion Lane are two guys who could fit the bill. You probably accept both pledges if you can get them, but I'd be happy with just one.
Special Teams: I'd love to see Shady Spring native Houstin Syvertson in the Old Gold and Blue. Maybe he gets an offer as a preferred walk-on, or maybe he gets a last minute scholly if we miss on some guys. Who knows.
So for 6 more spots (maybe 7-8 if the staff wants to take some risks on kids with academic issues), I would anticipate 1 WR, 1 OL, 2 DL, 1 DB, and 1 OTHER, possibly McEvoy or a second WR, another CB, or a K/P. How will the new hires impact WVU's to close the deal on some coveted players and help upgrade the roster? That's to be seen, but if Lonnie Galloway can get both Tavon Austin and Bruce Irvin to Morgantown, I'm not counting anything out. Stay tuned for more frequent updates as we get closer to National Signing Day.