WVU Recruiting Class Approaches Home Stretch - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Recruiting Class Approaches Home Stretch

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CHARLESTON -

The WVU football recruiting class currently stands at 22 commitments as of Tuesday, January 15th.  The coaching staff is beginning the final stages of making in-home visits to committed and uncommitted prospects while also hosting recruits on campus during the final weekends before National Signing Day.

Even though WVU's class appears to have nine early enrollees that start classes in Morgantown this week, only three of those prospects can count back towards the 2012 class.

That equates to roughly 28 players who can officially become Mountaineers on February 6th, including the nine aforementioned early enrollees, because NCAA rules allow only 25 players to count towards each year's recruiting class.

As of this article, the staff has secured the following commitments:

1 quarterback (Chavas Rawlins)

4 wide receivers (Ronald Carswell, Kevin White, Daikiel Shorts and Jacky Marcellus)

3 running backs (Dreamius Smith, Wendell Smallwood and Zaire Williams)

1 fullback (Elijah Wellman)

1 RB/Slot (DeShawn Coleman)

3 offensive linemen (Stone Underwood, Tyler Tezeno and Marcell Lazard)

1 defensive lineman (Marvin Gross)

4 linebackers (Al-Rasheed Benton, Hodari Christian, D'Vante Henry and Isaac McDonald)

1 DL/LB (Darrien Howard)

3 safeties (Terrell Pinson, Malik Greaves and Daryl Worley)

0 cornerbacks

 

With approximately six scholarships left, there appear to be eleven or twelve prospects in the mix for those spots. 

Let's assume the following positions are added to the class:

1 quarterback

1 or 2 wide receivers

1 or 2 offensive linemen

1 or 2 defensive linemen

1 linebacker

1 cornerback


Quarterback:

The major name here is Tanner McEvoy, who now has offers from Oregon and WVU and is trying to decide between the two schools by Signing Day.  He visited the Ducks last weekend and insists both schools are neck and neck for his services.

The wildcard is Jacoby Brissett.  He is a former Florida QB who is transferring and has narrowed his options to WVU and NC State and visited both schools over the weekend.  He is expected to make his selection ‘very' soon so he can enroll at either school for the spring semester (would need to enroll by Friday at WVU).  Brissett will not be eligible to compete next season unless he were to get an NCAA waiver, and he will most likely have two years to play two seasons.

Verdict: Both players could technically wind up in Morgantown, but with a limited amount of scholarships, it's more likely that only one of them comes to WVU.  Brissett appears to be the likeliest choice as of now.

Wide receiver:

The top option right now appears to be Rivals100 four-star prospect Shelton Gibson.  The Mountaineers are in good shape right now but will have to fend off other suitors such as Ohio State, Kentucky and Tennessee to secure his Letter of Intent in a few weeks. 

Recent Kentucky junior college commitment Javess Blue is also an option.  He was supposed to visit Morgantown this weekend but is now unsure if he'll take that trip with his recent pledge to UK.  Quincy Adeboyejo and four-star Rodney Adams are additional options at wideout, but they remain long shots unless either one of them visits campus.

Verdict: Going into the season, I felt WVU needed to land one of the following three offensive playmakers: Tyler Boyd, Blue or Gibson.  With Boyd being a strong commitment to Pitt and Blue recently pledging to UK, it may come down to Gibson.  If he does not become a member of the class, then you may see WVU push late for a guy like Adams, but that is not likely.  Gibson is clearly the main guy here to track.

Offensive Linemen:

A player who recently took a visit to Morgantown is junior college prospect Cedric Brittnum.  With the recent commitment of Stone Underwood, his status is certainly up in the air as he awaits an offer.

On the high school circuit, guys like four-star Denver Kirkland and three-stars Joshua Outlaw and Grant Lingafelter remain options at this point, but they will need to visit campus to be seen as legitimate possibilities.  Kirkland recently tweeted that WVU is one of his six finalists.

Verdict: I expect the staff to grab at least one offensive lineman in addition to the three current commitments.  Guys like Kirkland and Outlaw remain long shots, and it wouldn't surprise me if the coaches went the JC route again while new names continue to emerge at the position.

Defensive Linemen:

WVU has long been considered the leader for Paul James and I don't see any reason why that still shouldn't be the case.  He visited campus in October and has yet to take an official visit anywhere else.

Four-star junior college defensive lineman Marcus Hardison has narrowed down his list of suitors and WVU appears to be right in the thick of things along with Arizona State and Kansas State.  ASU was considered the leader for his services before current Sun Devil Will Sutton decided to come back for his senior season.  Hardison wants to play early, so we'll see what kind of impact that has on his final decision.

Other options along the defensive line include former four-star commitment De'Asian Richardson (flipped to Louisville) and junior college prospect Ufomba Kamalu.

Verdict: It's hard not to imagine James being part of this class seeing as how WVU has led for his services since the beginning of last fall.  Obviously, a guy like Hardison would be too talented to pass up if he were to choose the Mountaineers, but it remains to be seen how a commitment from James or Hardison could impact WVU's interest in Kamalu.

Linebacker:

The top two uncommitted recruits who are most likely to become WVU commitments are Rayfield Dixon and four-star Stacy Thomas.

Dixon is announcing on Friday between WVU and Minnesota and appears to be torn between the two.  He can play any of the linebacker positions with his mix of size and speed.

Thomas is slated for either defensive end or outside linebacker on the next level, and he announced a top three of WVU, Louisville and Duke back in December.  He has yet to visit Morgantown but has insisted he wants to take a trip to get a better feel for the school.  Until he does, it's hard to consider him a likely commitment.

Verdict: Dixon has been a priority for WVU for awhile, and even though he took a recent trip to Bowling Green, he appears to be set on either the Mountaineers or Golden Gophers and will announce his college destination this Friday.  If WVU misses on him, then expect to see the staff put the heat on Thomas or for new names to emerge at the position.

Cornerback:

A couple of Sunshine State prospects form the list here in Marquion Lane and Lamar Robbins.

Lane has yet to visit campus but has a connection to the WVU team in cornerback Ricky Rumph.  Lane has previously stated the Mountaineers are his leader.

Robbins visited campus for the Kansas State game, and has since visited Oklahoma.  Those two appear to be the frontrunners along with Louisville, which is where he'll be this weekend.

Verdict: It is an absolute must that WVU gets a cornerback in this class to go along with Miami (Fla.) transfer Vernon Davis who will be eligible in the fall, and I expect that signee to be Lane unless grade issues force the staff to look elsewhere.  Robbins would be an added bonus, but it will be very difficult to hold off the Sooners and Cardinals.

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These are certainly not the only names left that the coaches are tracking, but with only six scholarships remaining, you can expect to see at least a few of these names added to the 2013 recruiting class in the coming weeks.

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