Apparently so, because the Mountaineers have already started piecing together the next class. As with every season, there are a lot of big-time recruits naming the Mountaineers as favorites right now. That being said usually the hype is just that, most of these guys get offers from name-brand programs closer the start of their senior season. The one that really sticks at me from the last cycle was Larry Scott, bruising 4 star running back that proclaimed WVU as his favorite all spring long but by the start of September we weren't even in the top ten due to the offers he received during the summer. One name though that I think could be in the mix for a while is Steven Smothers, blazing fast 4 star wide-receiver with ties to WVU through Tavon Austin. Not to mention skills much like Tavon's.
Regardless of what high-profile prospects stay interested, WVU has already done a great job of building a bed of local talent in this class. So far there are four recruits, two from PA and two from WVU. It is great to see the staff continuing the trend of competing heavily in the local recruiting hotbeds, and it is especially important for the staff to continue to lock up the instate talent. There isn't tons of instate talent year in and year out, so the Mountaineers really need to make sure that no one slips through the cracks (Ryan Switzer pops to mind; though to be fair he was pretty set on going out of state). Pennsylvania is starting to become more and more of a recruiting pipeline for WVU thanks to Tony Gibson and Tom Bradley and it looks like they are off to a hot start in 2016. However before I ramble on, lets run through the prospects that are currently on board.
(Pittsburgh, PA) - Safety: 6'1", 175 lbs., 3 Star Prospect
Logan Thimons (Sarver, PA) - Linebacker (Outside): 6'1", 205 lbs., 3 Star Prospect
Reese Donahue (Ona, WV) - Defensive End (Strong-Side): 6'4.5", 235 lbs., 3 Star Prospect
Dylan Tonkery (Bridgeport, WV) - Athlete: 6'0", 185 lbs., Two Star Prospect
None of these guys are the tons of stars, make fans go crazy type of recruits be any means. But check out the film, the coaching staff knows what they are doing. All of these guys can ball. Reese looks especially promising, you have to love his motor. Not to mention his frame is great and he has plenty of room to grow. They will all probably receive some more offers but by locking them up this early the staff is going to do their best to scare the competition off and have the strongest relationship possible. So far the class is off to a great start by making inroads with the local talent as well is keeping legacies alive, which are two great ways of laying a foundation for a solidly committed recruiting class. Fans should be very excited by the start and it will be interesting to see how the momentum grows throughout the spring.
By the way, how bout that basketball game....Go 'Eers!