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West Virginia Recruiting Update: The Class As It Stands (8/24/15)

Football season is finally almost back and soon all eyes will be on the college boys but don't forget about the recruiting class of 2016...WVU already has a bunch of great talent in the fold. Here is a quick recap of the currently committed high school players gearing up for their senior year.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

So far the West Virginia staff has put together a quality class thus far going into the 2016 season, which should allow them to focus primarily on a few remaining quality players to round out the class. This is definitely a good problem to have.

The class currently has 19 players verbally committed, boasting one 4 star, seventeen 3 stars, and one 2 star. All in all the class ideally has room for a couple more high-level prospects, but many of the current commits are a bit underrated and the staff has done a great job of identifying this talent. The class has one QB, two RBs, two WRs, one TE, four OL, one DE, three LBs, two DBs, one ATH, and one K.

The class so far has the talent where it is needed with a nice variety of positions filled, though it would be nice to get a couple more for the secondary and defensive line. The staff made a good move in getting a kicker now to develop in college for a year or two, as we all saw last season how crucial a good leg can be. The quarterback recruiting is probably finished with just one in the class, but don't forget about ATH Tyrhee Pratt (who quarterbacks for his high school) should an open competition arise down the line.

The first prospect to talk about is without a doubt Steven Smothers. If you haven't heard of him before, you definitely have heard about his cousin Tavon Austin. Standing 5'10", 152 lbs., Smothers is a 4 star wide receiver and chose West Virginia over Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama, Penn State, and 21 other programs. He reminds me of a blend of Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, as his speed and agility is comparable to Tavon's but he is more of a true wide receiver (remember Austin was an RB out of high school). His hands are very sticky and he attacks the ball at its highest point consistently. There is always room for talented receivers and returners in Dana's offense and Smothers could find playing time quickly as a true freshman with his talents. Check out the highlights below if you have any doubts.

Smothers is the crown jewel of the class, but there are definitely some other seriously talented players. Kyzir White stands out to me as a player that is going to make serious contributions throughout his career.

The youngest of the three White brothers, Kyzir plays safety and brings prototypical size to the position, standing 6'3" and weighing in at 210 lbs. with room to grow.  Kyzir is going to remind more than a couple of Karl Joseph and not just because he wears the number 8. White is a heavy hitter with excellent pursuit skills but he can definitely still make a pick. He plays free safety at Lackawanna C.C., but should get a shot at strong or spur safety with both positions opening up next season. Kyzir is listed as a 3 or 4 star depending on the site you visit and he could make an immediate impact.

Beyond Smothers and White, Reese Donahue looks really good in the long-term.  He will have to grow into his 6'5" a little more and maximize his potential but should wreck havoc at DE during his WVU career. There is also a very strong running back duo in Kennedy McKoy and Martel Pettaway committed. I don't think Shell and Smallwood will both leave next year (though it is possible) so immediate playing time might not be in the cards, but both bring a nice variety of skills.

It will be interesting to see which final prospects join the class, and where they will hail from.  As of now WVU has one one commit from Florida in the class which is very unusual.  There is only so much room in a class and we have seemed to recruit Ohio and Pennsylvania very well this cycle, but Cogdell or Sieder could both very quickly change that. Stay tuned for more recruiting updates as the season continues. Sorry for the summer hiatus.