Recruiting Rewind: A Look Back at the 2009 Class - Part 1 - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Recruiting Rewind: A Look Back at the 2009 Class - Part 1

Updated:
Deon Long caught 47 passes for 809 yards and 4 touchdowns during his freshman season at New Mexico (courtesy of Albuquerque Journal). Deon Long caught 47 passes for 809 yards and 4 touchdowns during his freshman season at New Mexico (courtesy of Albuquerque Journal).

Normally when a coach or evaluator looks at a recruiting class, they won't know how that group of athletes will turn out until three to four years down the road.

So, let's rewind the clocks back to National Signing Day on February 4th, 2009.  The 25 signees in that class (Will Clarke became the 25th member of the class when he signed on March 27th) would now be entering their senior and redshirt junior seasons in a perfect world in the eyes of Mountaineer fans.

But as all college football fans have found out too often, recruiting in this day and age is anything but a perfect prognosticator of how those kids will ultimately turn out.

Of the 25 recruits who inked their Letter of Intent in that class, only 14 of them remain on the active WVU roster (56%).

For the sake of not turning this article into a book, I'll split up this piece into two parts.  Today I'll discuss the group of signees who make up the other 44% of that equation.

Of the ones who didn't pan out (all rankings come from Rivals.com)…

Branko Busick – 3* LB from Steubenville, Ohio – Dismissed from the Mountaineer program on July 12th, 2011 for a violation of team rules.  He appeared in two games with WVU during his redshirt freshman (2010) season and registered three tackles against UNLV.

On April 17th, 2012, Busick was issued a sentence of five years probation after pleading guilty in February to two charges of felony assault the previous summer in Morgantown.

Dominik Davenport – 3* DT from Hampton, Va. – Redshirted at WVU during the fall of 2009 before transferring to Old Dominion for the following spring semester.  He failed to qualify academically at ODU and transferred to Ellsworth Community College (Iowa) but was not listed on the 2011 roster.

Former WVU head coach Bill Stewart had this to say about Davenport when he signed with the Mountaineers:

"I tell you, the surprise of this class is Dominik Davenport…He'll play. Watch this guy because he never stops."

Tevita Finau – 4* DE from Phoenix, Ariz. – Signed with WVU out of Phoenix Community College.  He could never qualify academically and ended up enrolling at Utah on September 24th, 2010.  He appeared in the final eight games of that season and tallied one start against TCU.  In his senior year, he appeared in every game, started the final four contests of the season and finished with 37 tackles (5.0 TFL and 3.0 sacks).  He is unlikely to get drafted this weekend during the 2012 NFL Draft.

Daquan Hargrett – 3* RB from Miami, Fla. – Played two seasons for the Mountaineers before transferring to Florida International before the start of the 2011-2012 season.  He redshirted his first year on campus and then appeared in seven games during his redshirt freshman season where he totaled 28 yards on 5 offensive touches.  Hargrett enrolled at FIU last August, but he is no longer listed on the website's official 2012 roster.

Logan Heastie – 4* WR from Chesapeake, Va. – Graduated high school early and enrolled at WVU in the winter of 2009 in order to participate in spring practice that year.  He redshirted during the fall and eventually left the school on April 16th, 2010 along with…

Deon Long – 4* WR from Washington, D.C. – Signed twice with the Mountaineers after originally failing to qualify academically out of high school.  Attended Hargrave Military Academy in between and was labeled the No. 1 prep school prospect in the nation before inking again with WVU in the 2010 class.  He reportedly struggled putting in the necessary work in the weight room that spring and stopped showing up when the 6 a.m. workouts began.

Long eventually transferred to New Mexico and sat out the 2010 season due to transfer rules.  In Long's redshirt freshman season, he led the Lobos with 809 yards receiving on 47 catches and hauled in 4 touchdowns while earning second-team All-Mountain West Conference honors.  He left the school this past January and transferred to Iowa Western Community College.  There are strong rumors Long will attend Maryland in 2013 and reunite with Mike Locksley, the same coach who recruited him to New Mexico before being fired.

Terrance Moore – 3* WR from Mesa, Ariz. – An interesting situation, Moore took a year off before signing with the Mountaineers.  Because he was coming from a junior college and had played previously and because his year off was not for religious or military reasons, it counted against his NCAA clock (five years to play four seasons).  As a result, he would have been a fifth-year senior entering WVU and he didn't have the academic credits to qualify as such.

Jonathan Scott – 3* DB from Daytona Beach, Fla. – Left WVU before finishing the fall semester in 2009.  Scott wound up at East Central Community College (MS) and was listed on their 2011 roster as a sophomore.  He recorded 33 tackles with three fumble recoveries and three interceptions last year.

Chris Snook – 3* LB from Medina, Ohio – Redshirted in 2009 and appeared in 8 games as an H-back in 2010 before having his season cut short by a concussion in the Connecticut game.  Because Snook suffered so many concussions in high school, doctors decided over the summer of 2011 that Snook was no longer medically cleared to play collegiate football.  Even though he was no longer able to play football, Snook remained in school to finish his degree.

Ryan Spiker – 3* OL from Dresden, Ohio – Redshirted his first year on campus and was working with the twos during spring practice of 2010 at right guard.  During the first press conference of fall camp that same year, Stewart announced, "Ryan Spiker has decided to not be a part of the Mountaineer family."

Jordan Weingart – 3* OL from Gainesville, Fla. – Redshirted in 2009 and was listed as the third-string center heading into 2010 season before also leaving due to a lack of playing time.  Weingart was behind both Joey Madsen and Eric Jobe on the depth chart.  Weingart and Spiker both left the team within a month of each other.

Note: Jerrard Hunter (I did not count him as part of the 25 recruits) was added to the team before the start of fall camp in 2009, but only practiced for a very short time before the NCAA Clearinghouse ruled him ineligible.  In the summer of 2010, Hunter signed with Florida Atlantic after taking an online course from BYU to make him eligible.  He redshirted that season, and then in 2011 appeared in one game but did not record any stats.  He is currently listed on FAU's 2012 spring roster and will be a redshirt sophomore this season.

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So there you have it.  A little over three years later and all of these signees are no longer on the active roster at WVU.  Some situations couldn't be controlled, such as Snook's.  But the majority of these players, many of whom were highly regarded out of high school with major BCS offers, saw the writing on the wall and went elsewhere because of playing time and/or academics.

Of this group, only Finau and Long have had a significant impact on the FBS level, and even the majority of Finau's playing time didn't come until the latter part of his senior season.

Stay tuned for part two next week as I'll take a look at the fourteen Mountaineers from the 2009 class still playing football in Morgantown. 

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