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West Virginia Mountaineers Football Recruiting: What You May Have Missed (11/5/14)

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A tough loss still received positive feedback from recruits, putting WVU in a good position going forward.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was a tough weekend. But from a recruiting standpoint, the game was actually a big pretty hit with recruits from the sounds of things. A win would have been better to be sure...but the atmosphere was still intense. The fans did a great job of getting hyped for the game and coming out, though with College Gameday there was no better reason to. Jordan Cronkrite and Tim Irvin by all accounts both had a great time at the game, and with the way the offense struggled probably both left feeling like they could contribute early. But whether or not that happened it sounds like the fans and Morgantown represented excellently. Some great pictures of them in uniforms were posted and from their tweets it looks like they had some fun roaming about town after the game. Cronkrite was also tweeting and thanking Rushel Shell and Dravon Henry after the weekend saying what a good time he had with them so hopefully West Virginia has really made itself a contender after the visit, because they both will be going on a couple more trips to other schools. If they ended up dressed like this for their college playing careers it would be a huge boost to the whole recruiting class.

Unfortunately, while Cronkrite and Irvin both had a great time, Tim Settle was unable to make the trip last minute and really seems far removed from WVU at this point. He definitely might have been entertaining the notion for a time, but at this point it looks like both parties will be moving in different directions. It is a bit of a loss, but despite all of his immense talents he might not have even been a good fit for the defense. Just from the rumor mill, Settle has a big (ahem...difficult) personality and likes to try to make big plays even if it means breaking off from his job. With the three man front, having a team-oriented, gap-plugging grinder is just too essential.

The committed prospects both had a great time and both are still firmly committed. Jah'Shaun Sieder is looking good and will probably just be spending the rest of the year recruiting for the Mountaineers. Antonio Howard is an early enrollee candidate and could contribute on special teams next season. A couple junior college prospects slipped down for the game as well, and both could provide immediate depth. The first, Xavier Pegues, is a short, thicker defensive end that should challenge to get into rotation during his first year. He committed to Iowa State earlier on with his teammate Larry Jefferson (also a WVU recruit) but the visit this weekend has given him and his fiancee a lot to think about. Rasul Douglas also made it to Morgantown and left very impressed.  Douglas is an immensely talent JUCO corner and is listed at 6'3". His recruitment isn't over but it sounds like WVU could have taken the lead after this weekend. Douglas would likely immediately contribute and potentially earn a starting job down the line, and his measurements at corner make his skills even more interesting. And in the Big 12 a team can never have too many defensive backs as well.

All in all, things are still pretty interesting for WVU even with so few spots left in the recruiting class. Some recruiting battles won't be settled until later in the year, but keep an eye on the JUCOs for now as they could begin deciding soon. The game this past weekend didn't go as fans hoped, but when it came to visits everyone, from commentator to recruit, sounded like they had a great time in Morgantown.