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.

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