Recruiting Heats Up With Large Group of Official Visitors - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Recruiting Heats Up With Large Group of Official Visitors

Updated:
MORGANTOWN -

Even though the Mountaineers have just begun preparations for their Orange Bowl showdown on the field versus Clemson, recruiting is in full swing off the gridiron as the WVU coaching staff is set to host another talented group of prospects in Morgantown this weekend.

All eleven visitors scheduled will be here on an official visit, which means everything is paid for while they're on campus for 48 hours, including their transportation to and from Touchdown City.

Additionally, recruiting behemoth Rivals.com lists each senior prospect scheduled to be in town as already possessing a Mountaineer offer, so obviously the importance of this weekend for Head Coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff cannot be emphasized enough.

Four prospects visiting hail from the state of Florida.  Safeties Sean Walters (Hallandale Beach / Hallandale), Kimlon Dillon (Apopka / Apopka) and Karl Joseph (Orlando, FL / Edgewater) are all expected to make the trip north, as is athlete Travares Copeland (Port St. Lucie / Treasure Coast).

Joseph is a hard-hitting, 5'11" 190-pound prospect that plans on enrolling early in January at the college of his choice.  Rivals.com lists him as the 31st best at his position.  Cincinnati, Illinois and UCF have offered and remain in contention for his services along with the Mountaineers.  Joseph also claims offers from Louisville, Miami (FL), Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee and Virginia.

Dillon is another intriguing recruit, and he may be as high on the Mountaineers as any of the recruits expected to visit Morgantown this weekend.  Schools such as Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Purdue, South Florida and UCF have offered and remain in the hunt for the athletic 6'2" 180-pound specimen.  Dillon is ranked as the 38th best safety in the nation.

If you're looking for a pure athlete, then you have that in Copeland.  While his 6'0" 175-pound frame will allow him to play multiple positions on either side of the ball, this high school quarterback will most likely get his shot at wide receiver or cornerback on the next level.  He checks into the Rivals.com Athlete rankings at No. 27, which helps to explain why so many programs have turned up the heat on his recruitment.  Georgia Tech has recently entered the mix, and they join the likes of Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest to offer him a scholarship.

The last Floridian expected to visit this weekend is Walters.  A relatively unknown prospect a few months ago, his stock has risen over the course of his senior season and Minnesota, South Florida, Western Michigan and WVU have all offered as a result.  Walters has a similar build to Dillon, and his highlight film illustrates his ability to tackle in space and close quickly on the ball.

A pair of highly-touted linemen from New Jersey will also make the trek to Morgantown.  Offensive tackle Ryan Brodie (Long Branch, NJ / Long Branch) and defensive tackle Christian Brown (Bridgeton, NJ, Bridgeton) both claim numerous BCS offers and either one would be a coup for the coaching staff.

Brodie has all the makings of a future left tackle as his 6'5" 270-pound frame has plenty of room for growth.  NJVarsity.com lists him as the No. 1 offensive lineman in the Garden State.  That lofty raking can partly be defined by his list of college suitors, as Boston College, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia and WVU have all tendered an offer.

His counterpart, Brown, has an impressive resume as well.  Listed as the 38th most talented defensive tackle in the country, this 6'2" 280-pound mammoth has long been considering the Mountaineers.  In addition to WVU, Brown lists scholarship offers from Connecticut, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota, NC State, Purdue, South Florida, and UCF.

Two Texas natives already committed to the Mountaineers are expected to make their official visit this weekend as well.  Jordan Thompson (Katy, TX / Katy), a slot receiver and the most recent member of the 2012 class, will be in town along with quarterback recruit Ford Childress (Houston, TX / The Kinkaid School).

Thompson is a slender but quick 5'9" 165-pound athlete who, along with Joseph and Childress, will reportedly enroll early in January.  With the loss of four senior receivers (Tyler Urban, Bradley Starks, Devon Brown and Willie Milhouse), Thompson will have an opportunity to prove his worth during spring practice.  He finished his senior season catching 66 passes, including 17 touchdown receptions, and amassed almost 1,200 yards of offense.  Thompson committed to lead recruiter Shannon Dawson on December 1st, and the Mountaineers were his lone offer at that time.

Although Childress verballed in early April, he has held firm to that commitment despite other programs turning up the heat for his services.  He stands at 6'4" 210-pounds and was personally recruited by Holgorsen to fit this system.  During his recently completed senior season, Childress passed for almost 3,200 yards and 41 touchdowns while completing 63% of his attempts.  Duke, Arizona and Arizona State also offered scholarships to the future Mountaineer signal-caller, and Rivals.com rates Childress as the 15th best pro-style QB in the land.

A couple more offensive prospects planning to be in town are running back David Smith (Midlothian, IL / Bremen) and tight end Will Johnson (Osseo, MN / Osseo).

With the recent commitment of running back Roshard Burney, one would think that may scare off future running back prospects, but it hasn't affected Smith, a 6'0" 190-pound burner who showcases an impressive group of scholarship offers.  Along with the Mountaineers, the Rivals.com 38th ranked running back is also considering offers from Arizona, Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Oregon State and Vanderbilt.

When you think of Head Coach Dana Holgorsen's offense, the position of "tight end" doesn't immediately come to mind.  However, when considering what Holgorsen has done with senior Tyler Urban in his transition from tight end to inside receiver this past fall, one can understand why Holgorsen may want another big weapon to catch passes over the middle of the field.

Enter recruit Will Johnson.  A 6'7" 250-pound high school tight end, Johnson displays the hands and blocking ability that could make him a valuable asset in this offense.  He recently visited Minnesota, and they have offered along with Auburn, Boston College, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Northern Illinois, Ole Miss and WVU.

One additional recruit visiting Morgantown is uncommitted cornerback Cody Quinn (Middletown, OH / Middletown).  Having recently decommited from Illinois due to the head coaching change, Quinn is wide open in his recruitment and the Mountaineers plan on making their pitch this weekend for the 5'10" athlete.  He lists scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Kent State, Marshall, Miami (OH), Purdue, Toledo and WVU.

  • More SportsMore>>

  • WATCH: Mountaineers Edged in Extras in Big 12 Semifinal

    WATCH: Mountaineers Edged in Extras in Big 12 Semifinal

    Saturday, May 27 2017 4:15 PM EDT2017-05-27 20:15:25 GMT
    No. 4-seed WVU falls to No. 8-seed Oklahoma St. in extras in the Big 12 semifinal. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)No. 4-seed WVU falls to No. 8-seed Oklahoma St. in extras in the Big 12 semifinal. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    Hear what head coach Randy Mazey, Shane Ennis, and Jimmy Galusky had to say after the one-run loss in extras in the Big 12 Semifinal.

    Hear what head coach Randy Mazey, Shane Ennis, and Jimmy Galusky had to say after the one-run loss in extras in the Big 12 Semifinal.

  • WVU Rallies in Ninth, Beats No. 3 Texas Tech in 10th

    WVU Rallies in Ninth, Beats No. 3 Texas Tech in 10th

     Trailing by two runs, the West Virginia University baseball team rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning and win it with a six-run 10th inning against No. 3 Texas Tech on Friday afternoon at the 2017 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.  

     Trailing by two runs, the West Virginia University baseball team rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning and win it with a six-run 10th inning against No. 3 Texas Tech on Friday afternoon at the 2017 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.  

  • PHOTOS: Cowboys Rope Mountaineers in OKC

    PHOTOS: Cowboys Rope Mountaineers in OKC

    Ivan Gonzalez has a conversation in the dugout during an 8-4 WVU loss to Oklahoma State. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Ivan Gonzalez has a conversation in the dugout during an 8-4 WVU loss to Oklahoma State. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)
    Take a look at images from Thursday's 8-4 loss to Oklahoma State as the Mountaineers drop their first game of the Big 12 tournament. 
    Take a look at images from Thursday's 8-4 loss to Oklahoma State as the Mountaineers drop their first game of the Big 12 tournament. 
  • FootballFootballMore>>

  • Crest Back on the WVU Football Roster

    Crest Back on the WVU Football Roster

    Monday, May 15 2017 4:18 PM EDT2017-05-15 20:18:10 GMT
    William Crest Jr. has opted to stay with the Mountaineer Football program. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)William Crest Jr. has opted to stay with the Mountaineer Football program. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    A familiar face has returned to the West Virginia University football roster, William Crest Jr.

    A familiar face has returned to the West Virginia University football roster, William Crest Jr.

  • Rasul Douglas Overcomes Adversity on Land in NFL

    Rasul Douglas Overcomes Adversity on Land in NFL

    The Philadelphia Eagles picked Rasul Douglas with the No. 99 selection of the 2017 NFL Draft.The Philadelphia Eagles picked Rasul Douglas with the No. 99 selection of the 2017 NFL Draft.

    The former WVU cornerback fought through hunger and other struggles to land with Philadelphia in the NFL Draft's third round. 

    The former WVU cornerback fought through hunger and other struggles to land with Philadelphia in the NFL Draft's third round. 

  • Mountaineers Ink Free Agent Deals

    Mountaineers Ink Free Agent Deals

    Sunday, April 30 2017 2:22 PM EDT2017-04-30 18:22:07 GMT
    WVU running back Rushel Shell celebrates the first touchdown of the 2016 Mountaineer football season. (PHOTO: Emily Coyle)WVU running back Rushel Shell celebrates the first touchdown of the 2016 Mountaineer football season. (PHOTO: Emily Coyle)

    Two Mountaineers came off the board in the 2017 NFL Draft and a handful of others inked free agent deals.

    Two Mountaineers came off the board in the 2017 NFL Draft and a handful of others inked free agent deals.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • WATCH: Mountaineers Edged in Extras in Big 12 Semifinal

    WATCH: Mountaineers Edged in Extras in Big 12 Semifinal

    Saturday, May 27 2017 4:15 PM EDT2017-05-27 20:15:25 GMT
    No. 4-seed WVU falls to No. 8-seed Oklahoma St. in extras in the Big 12 semifinal. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)No. 4-seed WVU falls to No. 8-seed Oklahoma St. in extras in the Big 12 semifinal. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    Hear what head coach Randy Mazey, Shane Ennis, and Jimmy Galusky had to say after the one-run loss in extras in the Big 12 Semifinal.

    Hear what head coach Randy Mazey, Shane Ennis, and Jimmy Galusky had to say after the one-run loss in extras in the Big 12 Semifinal.

  • West Virginia State Police Search For Missing Woman

    West Virginia State Police Search For Missing Woman

    Saturday, May 27 2017 8:00 PM EDT2017-05-28 00:00:25 GMT

    West Virginia State Police are looking for a 33 year-old woman, Alexis Basconi who also goes by "Alexis White." Basconi was last heard from by a friend on May 22, 2017. According to her friends and family Basconi has not been seen or heard from since May,22. Basconi is 5'2" tall and weighs 110 pounds. She was last seen with long hair past her shoulders.

    West Virginia State Police are looking for a 33 year-old woman, Alexis Basconi who also goes by "Alexis White." Basconi was last heard from by a friend on May 22, 2017. According to her friends and family Basconi has not been seen or heard from since May,22. Basconi is 5'2" tall and weighs 110 pounds. She was last seen with long hair past her shoulders.

  • WVU Rallies in Ninth, Beats No. 3 Texas Tech in 10th

    WVU Rallies in Ninth, Beats No. 3 Texas Tech in 10th

     Trailing by two runs, the West Virginia University baseball team rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning and win it with a six-run 10th inning against No. 3 Texas Tech on Friday afternoon at the 2017 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.  

     Trailing by two runs, the West Virginia University baseball team rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning and win it with a six-run 10th inning against No. 3 Texas Tech on Friday afternoon at the 2017 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.  

  • WVi Has Moved!

    WVi Has Moved!

    Friday, September 2 2011 1:45 PM EDT2011-09-02 17:45:05 GMT
    Don't worry, wvillustrated.com is still alive and well. WVi has upgraded to a brand new and improved website. Please check out http://www.wvillustrated.com/ We hope you enjoy the new WVi experience.
  • WVU to Face Kentucky in Morgantown This Season

    WVU to Face Kentucky in Morgantown This Season

     For the first time since 1970, and just the third time in school history, the West Virginia University men’s basketball team will host Kentucky in Morgantown during the 2017-18 season.  

     For the first time since 1970, and just the third time in school history, the West Virginia University men’s basketball team will host Kentucky in Morgantown during the 2017-18 season.  

  • Elijah Macon Leaves WVU to Pursue Pro Career

    Elijah Macon Leaves WVU to Pursue Pro Career

    Elijah Macon will skip his senior season with the Mountaineers in pursuit of a professional basketball career. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Elijah Macon will skip his senior season with the Mountaineers in pursuit of a professional basketball career. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    A day after one West Virginia basketball junior decided to officially return for his senior season, another is now leaving the program. Elijah Macon announced his intention to sign with an agent and play professional basketball rather than come back for what would be his final year with the Mountaineers. The forward’s statement appeared as follows on his Instagram account: “First things first I would like to say Thank you Bob Huggins And Erik Martin for believing in a y...

    Mountaineer forward issues statement regarding decision to skip his final season in Morgantown. 

  • RECRUITING UPDATE: The Latest on Pitts, Stills & Gebbia

    RECRUITING UPDATE: The Latest on Pitts, Stills & Gebbia

    South Charleston's Derrek Pitts and Fairmont Senior's Dante Stills remain prime targets for WVU, while four-star California quarterback Tristan Gebbia has committed elsewhere. 

    South Charleston's Derrek Pitts and Fairmont Senior's Dante Stills remain prime targets for WVU, while four-star California quarterback Tristan Gebbia has committed elsewhere. 

  • Mountaineers Fall to Cowboys in Big 12 Tournament

    Mountaineers Fall to Cowboys in Big 12 Tournament

    Braden Zarbnisky had a career-high four hits against Oklahoma State, setting the WVU record for most hits in a Big 12 tournament game. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Braden Zarbnisky had a career-high four hits against Oklahoma State, setting the WVU record for most hits in a Big 12 tournament game. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Zarbnisky sets WVU record in loss to Cowboys, setting up Friday meeting with top seed Texas Tech. 

    Zarbnisky sets WVU record in loss to Cowboys, setting up Friday meeting with top seed Texas Tech.