With the saga of the NFL combine stealing headlines, there hasn't been too much activity on the recruiting front. Still the combine does have a large effect on recruiting and Kevin White's performance over the weekend has done nothing but good thing for the university. Recruits remember the first round draft picks and they remember the colleges that they went to. Both Kevin's performance and Mario Alford's performance continue the tradition of West Virginia producing pro-caliber wide-outs, which in turn helps the recruiting of the position. Watching both of those guys get drafted could be what helps Steven Smothers remember West Virginia when he makes his decision. That and the knowledge that they are leaving some wide open receiver positions behind them as well...
One name that has now popped on the radar is Shavar Manuel, 6'5" 262 lbs. DT from Florida. Manuel, a five star recruit, has stated that he is planning on visiting West Virginia and it sounds like early playing time is one of his main concerns. The kid is a man-child and would most definitely find himself in rotation as a true freshman at West Virginia, but there are some heavy hitters in his recruitment. Right now Florida State looks like the team to beat but a solid visit can always shake things up. The current recruiting staff is also one that can compete for any Florida recruit, so it will be interesting to see if the Mountaineers can gain some momentum. He would definitely be a marquee recruit and instant impact player.
West Virginia does tend to get in early on with these big-time defensive-line recruits and then fade down the stretch (anyone remember Tim Settle?) but there is a first time for everything and WVU is looking like it could have a strong recruiting year.
Things will continue to stay fairly quiet as the off-season progresses, but an interesting story-line that could effect recruiting will be the new addition to the staff. With Bradley (likely) off to UCLA and Tall taking his spot things should remain pretty settled on the defensive side. Bruce Tall is a proven D-line coach that can definitely recruit as well and his hiring definitely indicated that Bradley was moving on to a coordinator role in hindsight. But now there is a new empty slot that seems likely to be filled by an offensive mind with the defensive coaching side of things sorted. No names have been dropped yet, but that should start once Bradley's move is made official.