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West Virginia Mountaineers Football Recruiting Update 2/9/15

There were some ups and downs but West Virginia finished up the 2015 recruiting cycle with a solid class.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia finished the class in a somewhat unexciting fashion compared to last year's signing day (not including Gary Jennings; huge get from VA), but the reality of this class was that the majority of the talent was committed to West Virginia and remained so throughout the process. Shaquery Wilson and Khalil Lewis both flipped, but beyond that the coaching staff did an excellent job of keeping the class together.  Wilson was always a possibility to flip back, UGA likely made a very strong push for him as he is a remarkable talent. Lewis was a bit more of a surprise but the coaching staff continue to press for more and more wide receivers throughout the process and that can sometimes turn committed guys off. Despite losing those two at WR, the class is stacked with Jovon Durante, Gary Jennings, and Ka'Raun White still on board. White and Jennings are both big-bodied wide-receivers that can make a play on jump balls, and Durante is a burner that could excel in the slot.

Opposite of the wide-receivers, the secondary is also still loaded.  At this point the story lines to watch for these guys will all be whether or not they make it to campus. Holgorsen said himself that they wouldn't have recruited any of the players if they didn't think they would be eligible which is comforting. But it is always nerve-wracking when talents like Rasul Douglas and Tyrek Cole continue to have their start dates pushed back. Douglas' case in particular draws a lot of parallels to the case of Jaylon Myers, and hopefully a late start date doesn't equal reduced playing time. That being said the spring is crucial to getting JUCO guys and transfers up to speed and without it the chances of a red-shirt or riding the bench do tend to increase. However, if these guys can simply make it on campus at all they are going to be providing quality depth and competition for an already sturdy secondary.

The offensive and defensive line classes are also going to be deep and bolster the ranks immensely. Development tends to be more long-term in the trenches so it would be surprising to see anyone come in and make an immediate impact, but they will challenge the guys that have been developing from last year's classes and pack on some pounds in the college weight-rooms. Rob Dowdy looks like he could be a monster in years to come but may need to red-shirt to develop physically, though his frame is there. Alec Shriner may end up being a breakout NT one day, and I like him to have the best chance at an early impact. He is thick as can be and much stronger than I thought (Holgorsen said he benches 600 pounds...), so he could potentially break into rotation.

The class had no running backs and only one linebacker (two if you count Ferns), but West Virginia's roster is looking fine in those areas. DTW is still going to be the running back of the future as planned and should only look better after a red-shirt year. David Long is a great linebacker and will be a great Mountaineer, but right now there is still loads of depth on the depth chart. The staff chose to focus on other areas of need but right now that looks like a good decision. It is also hard not to get excited about the QB competition this spring. With Howard, Crest, Chugs, and Sills all on campus, it should be a fierce battle and competition breeds excellence. Howard and Crest are likely going to be the two in charge as the playbook takes some time to absorb, but Sills and Chugs will have the spring to play catch up. All in all the class really bolstered areas of need and should set the offense up with enough talent to replace some greats this off-season. The defense is bringing enough back that the starters aren't going to be shaken up much but this class helped to secure the future of the defense, which right now is looking extremely bright. During spring ball the focus will soon shift towards the 2016 class, but it will be extremely interesting to see some of these guys on campus this spring as well as if there will be any late additions to the 2015 class.