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Family Matters For West Virginia's Best Signing Day Pick Ups

West Virginia's two highest heralded 2016 recruits both have a familial bond that brought them to Morgantown to play their college ball.

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

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If a picture says a thousand words, this one writes a novel. Firstly, that picture was taken in 2006 and now both of those kids are Mountaineers. We are all old and the inevitable heat death of the universe is coming for us all.

Secondly, and more importantly, the story of these two kids ending up playing their college ball in Morgantown is fantastic. Michael Ferns, like his brother,  was a consensus four star linebacker out of St. Clairsville, Ohio. He, obviously, grew up a Mountaineer fan but became the first commitment of Brady Hoke's 2014 Michigan class as a high school sophomore in 2012.

Brady Hoke's subsequent dismissal and the allure of family brought Michael to West Virginia before last season, which he sat out due to transfer rules. With three more years of eligibility in Morgantown, he'll get plenty of chances to help anchor Tony Gibson's defense, and as of today he'll get that chance with the help of his brother Brendan.

Brendan Ferns is clearly the cornerstone of Dana Holgorsen's 2016 recruiting class. With the loss of Nick Kwiatkoski, who along with Karl Joseph was the heart and soul of the WVU defense, there is room for an instant impact at Linebacker.

While Brendan definitely has room to add muscle to his current frame, there's absolutely no doubting his instincts and athleticism. In the Big 12, a league where he's going to be called on to make plays in pass coverage--as Kwiatkoski frequently did--those attributes will be invaluable.

And, as you all know, the Ferns brothers won't be the only family out on Mountaineer Field next fall.


No recruiting class in this league is truly complete without an influx of playmakers in the defensive backfield, and WVU certainly got that with Kyzir White--the first White brother to actually be a defensive back instead of simply haunting their nightmares like some sort of terrifying bird of prey that catches footballs.

Like Ferns, Kyzir stands to make an immediate impact due to big losses at safety, with both KJ Dillion and Karl Joseph graduating and heading to the next level. With the flashes Ka'Raun showed last fall and the undeniable talent, it's not crazy to think that West Virginia will have a White causing havoc on both sides of the ball next season.

Kyzir--actually the highest rated White brother according to recruiting agencies--verbally committed to West Virginia back in June, an outcome that most rival coaches considered inevitable. However, the Mountaineers still had to fight to the end against big name competition to secure the services of the third White brother. The biggest competitor, according to reports, was a late push from Southern Cal.

A football team, in the end, needs to be a family, and the West Virginia family will be aided greatly by having these two sets of brothers suiting up in Gold and Blue. Both the Ferns and White families have a shot to create and cement a true legacy in Morgantown, and it's going to be a great ride watching it all play out.