Welcome to my blog!
On here, I will discuss all things WVU football recruiting and occasionally touch on other college football related matters. This weekly blog will mainly recap our current commits and follow their progress throughout their senior seasons, target our top 2012 and 2013 recruits who have yet to commit, provide visit lists of prospects on campus this fall, as well as expand on any other hot recruiting news of the week.
I have also incorporated a "Commitment Level" rating for each recruit, which is basically my opinion on how firm each prospect's commitment to WVU is at this time. The scale ranges from 1-10, and the higher the number, the better the chance we sign that prospect on National Signing Day. Since no verbal commitment is ever official until the prospect signs, it will be rare to ever see a commit listed as a 10.
Also, feel free to leave any comments on the bottom of each article. The more discussion the better!
Let's briefly catch up on the offensive prospects who have committed thus far in the 2012 recruiting class. The following recruits will officially sign their Letter Of Intent (LOI) on Wednesday, February 1st:
Ford Childress is the lone quarterback recruit, and he's a stud. He was also the first offensive recruit for the coaching staff in this class and was hand-picked by Head Coach Dana Holgorsen. His performance last month at the Texas 7-on-7 state championships, in which he earned top quarterback and all-tournament honors, has many colleges around the Lone Star State wondering how Holgorsen was able to pull this prospect out of their own backyard. Since committing to the Mountaineers, Childress has plucked additional BCS offers from Duke, Arizona and Arizona State, while gaining serious attention from Oklahoma State and Alabama. He is currently a three-star recruit on both Scout.com and Rivals.comand could easily see his position ranking soar with a strong senior season at The Kinkaid School in Houston. Childress plans on enrolling early in January 2012.
COMMITMENT LEVEL: 9 (Editor's Note: Childress looks to be the only QB in this class. It will be interesting to see how the departure of Brian Athey affects our current QB situation. Do we bring in a late 2011 addition from the JUCO ranks or add an additional signal-caller to the 2012 class? Either way, his commitment to Holgorsen seems very solid right now.)
There is only one running back so far in this class and he hails from Washington D.C. Albert Reid plays at Friendship Collegiate Academy and stands in at 5'11" and 195-pounds. He is one of many three-star recruits in this class, and Reid verballed to the Mountaineers in late June over BCS offers from Stanford, Vanderbilt, Duke, Colorado, Cincinnati and Iowa. Reid may be the only true RB the coaching staff signs this year, which goes to show how highly Holgorsen and company think of the youngster. His running style is a mix of speed and power, and he should fit nicely into the high-octane offense in Morgantown. Wide Receivers Coach Daron Roberts deserves the credit for Reid's commitment.
COMMITMENT LEVEL: 9 (Editor's Note: Reid seems to be a great fit in this offense, and as of now, I don't see us recruiting anymore true RB's in this class. This is in part due to the already crowded backfield in Morgantown, as three true freshmen are currently vying for the starting job this fall. As long as Reid remains solid, I don't expect anymore running backs.)
The wide receiver group in this class is growing quickly, headlined by four-star recruit Deontay McManus from Tavon Austin's high school, Dunbar High (MD). Rivals.com lists the 6'2" 215-pound physical specimen as the 14th best wide receiver recruit in the country and the nation's 108th overall prospect. Coach Roberts was instrumental in landing McManus, a big-time talent who garnered scholarship offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina and Tennessee, among others. He will be a great fit on the outside, as he can use his leaping ability, speed and strength to separate from defenders after the catch. McManus performed well this summer at the Penn State NIKE Camp and The Opening in Portland, OR. He is obviously still getting recruited by many powerhouse programs and it wouldn't surprise anyone if he took a few official visits this fall to firm up his decision.
COMMITMENT LEVEL: 8 (Editor's Note: The headliner of this class so far is McManus, and for good reason. His physical attributes alone would allow him to compete for a two-deep spot at receiver this season in Morgantown. I fully expect him to take multiple official visits this fall, so while he is committed, the possibility exists that he could flip in the future. However, the plethora of Maryland-D.C. commits already in the fold should certainly play to our advantage as Signing Day draws near.)
Another receiver who recently made the pledge to the Mountaineers is Trevor Williams out of Calvert Hall in Towson, MD. Williams brings a good combination of size and speed on the outside, and he should be able to stretch the defense with his 6'2" slender frame. He remained under the radar this off-season but eventually impressed the coaching staff enough to earn an offer. All one has to do is take a look at his highlight film to see that he's capable of making plays on the BCS level. Williams also reported an offer from Toledo at the time of his commitment, and it was Coach Roberts again who landed this athlete.
COMMITMENT LEVEL: 9.5 (Editor's Note: Williams is a huge sleeper that I love this in class. His film is very impressive, and he seems to be as close to a lock as you can get in August. Unless a bunch of BCS schools start throwing their hat in the ring, there isn't much to worry about here with his commitment.)
Devonte Robinson is a Florida product from Delray Beach who committed to WVU in mid-July. His frame is similar to Williams, and his film also illustrates his ability to make the difficult catch and stretch the outside with his speed. He is listed at 6'2" and runs a 4.47 forty-yard dash. Robinson was also offered by Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. He ranks as the nation's 69th best wideout and a three-star recruit on Rivals.com. Running Backs Coach Robert Gillespie was the main recruiter for the Village Academy standout.
COMMITMENT LEVEL: 8.5 (Editor's Note: Robinson seems to be a strong commitment right now, but he has left the door open to potentially visiting schools in the fall. You always have to be a little weary when a commit may take additional visits, but the Mountaineers' pass-first offense this fall should help alleviate any doubts the wideout may have.)
Darreall "Dee" Joyner is a bit of an unknown. He recently called up head recruiter Robert Gillespie to commit to the Mountaineers on August 1st. Joyner is a 5'11" inside receiver prospect who transferred to a loaded Miami Central team for his senior season. He spent his junior year at Fitzgerald High School in Georgia. His agility and ability to make defenders miss after the catch is very impressive on film, and he also does not shy away from contact over the middle. Joyner racked up BCS offers from Illinois, Minnesota and Wake Forest before accepting an offer from WVU, and he plans to enroll early in January 2012. Coach Gillespie was again the lead recruiter for this Sunshine State prospect.
COMMITMENT LEVEL: 9.5 (Editor's Note: Joyner is the most recent offensive commit for the Mountaineers. His decision to enroll early only strengthens his verbal pledge, so I don't see anything to worry about with this future inside receiver.)
The offensive line has received two solid commitments so far, the first of which came in late June from Tyler Orlosky of St. Edward High School in Lakewood, OH. Rivals.com lists him as the 32nd best offensive guard in the nation and the 48th overall player in Ohio, while Scout.com ranks Orlosky as a four-star prospect and the 15th best guard in America. The Mountaineers had to fight off four Big 10 programs for the talented lineman, as Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State all offered. Orlosky stands 6'4" and weighs 290 pounds heading into his senior season.
COMMITMENT LEVEL: 8.5 (Editor's Note: Orlosky was extremely high, if not the top guy, on the coaching staff's offensive line recruiting board. His teammate and one of the top offensive tackles in the nation, Kyle Kalis, recently committed to Michigan, and they may be the team to watch out for as we eventually wind down to Signing Day. For now, Orlosky appears to be solid with the Mountaineers.)
During the last weekend of July, the coaching staff received four commitments over a three-day span. One of those to pledge to the Mountaineers while on campus was Tony Matteo, a talented center prospect from Akron, OH. Rivals.com is very high on Matteo, ranking him as the 6th best offensive lineman in Ohio and the 13th overall center in the nation. A trio of Big East programs in Cincinnati, Connecticut and Pittsburgh all offered, but it seems his commitment is very firm at the present time with the Mountaineers. Offensive Line Coach Bill Bedenbaugh was very involved with landing his young pupil.
COMMITMENT LEVEL: 9 (Editor's Note: Matteo's recruitment has been a bit of a back-and-forth battle between Pitt and WVU, but the Mountaineers eventually won over his services on July 30th. The Panthers will probably recruit him until the end, but I feel very confident that Matteo eventually inks with WVU.)
The ninth offensive prospect so far to pledge to the Mountaineers is athlete J.T. Washington. With no position set at the next level, Washington could find himself playing running back, inside receiver or even defensive back for the Mountaineers in the future. That is, of course, if his commitment remains firm with Holgorsen and his staff. As of now, it seems the Sunshine State recruit may be taking other official visits during the season, including Iowa State and possibly Maryland or Florida Atlantic. It remains to be seen how future additions to the receiving corps in this signing class will affect Washington's interest level. For now, however, the quick-footed athlete from Satellite Beach is a Mountaineer. Coach Gillespie and Defensive Backs Coach David Lockwood were involved with his recruitment.
COMMITMENT LEVEL: 6 (Editor's Note: Washington is easily the player I feel the least confident about heading into the fall. He will mostly likely take an official visit to Iowa State, and he could always make the short trip to Boca Raton to check out Florida Atlantic, another one of his finalists. With multiple high-profile guys left on the wide receiver recruiting board and four commits already in the fold, will the quantity of skill position athletes scare him away? This is certainly a player to keep tabs on this fall.)
Next week, we will highlight the defensive players who have pledged their services to the Mountaineers in the 2012 class.