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Holgorsen Comments On Early Signing Period

West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen addressing the media. (Photo by Christopher Hall)

The West Virginia Football program signed 16 recruits during the early signing period, giving them a total of 18 for the class of 2019. Head coach Dana Holgorsen coming to the podium after practice, jokingly looked over the officially signed list of commits, knowing full well who all had signed. He was boastful on how his staff made it less stressful and commended them for doing a terrific job.

“It’s a lot less stressful than it’s been.” Bragged Holgorsen. “I think Ryan Dorcester and the recruiting world did a good job with these guys. We had two already here, obviously because they count as a part of this signing class – When you fill your allotted 25, the only way you can go beyond that is, is to bring guys in, in August. Which we did with VanDarius Cowan and Isaiah Esdale.”

Dana continued with an update on where they are currently at for the 2019 signing class. “We got 16 today. That’s a good day today. We’re sitting at 18. We got 7 more that we’ll go identify between now and sometime in the summer. We’ll be back out on the road in January to continue to do research and continue to recruit guys. Bring in about seven more here moving forward. They’re all good players and were excited about having them all.”

Cornerback coach Doug Belk has been dipping into Georgia during his time at WVU. West Virginia signed four so far in this class that are from the Peach State and Holgorsen wanted people to know the great job he’s done in the South.

“Give coach Belk a shout out for doing a great job in Georgia. That’s been a high priority of ours. We’ve really focused on Georgia the last few years. I spent all three weeks pretty much down in Georgia in December. It’s outstanding football down there and we’re going to work hard at getting guys from that area.”

Later on in the press conference, Dana addressed on the reason why they are having success in Georgia.

“Doug has a good relationship with a lot of people down there. I just think the proximity is good. The Atlanta to Pittsburgh connection is really easy. There’s about eight flights a day. There’s a large part of Atlanta that are full of kids that didn’t grow up in Georgia. They got a ton of move-ins. That’s just a fast-growing city. You’re that close to a hub that gets you to Pittsburgh seven times a day it’s easy to convince guys to jump on airplanes.”

Then, Holgorsen explained why he continues to back into that area. “It’s really good football. It’s as well-coached of a football state as I’ve seen. They got great talent, they got great population and play really good football.”

Every year there is always needs in certain areas. Whether it’s along the line of scrimmage or the skill positions, staffs generally load up on a specific position. However, Dana is looking for talent first and foremost.

“Every position is always a need. We want to continue to bring guys in. I got my master sheet in the back that I look at as far as what we still have on the board, which can change based on how good players are.” Explained Dana

Holgorsen provided an example on exactly what he was talking about “I can honestly say we’re not looking for a running back right now, because we got a really good one in Tony Mathis and we have four coming back. But things happen all the time as we all know. But if there’s a great, great one, we may reevaluate that.”

Dana went on to clarify exactly what he was saying. “We’re always looking for the best players we can. We’re always looking to create as much competition as we possibly can.”

Recruiting a quarterback has been somewhat of a hot topic issue with the West Virginia program. Under Holgorsen, the Mountaineers haven’t had much success with signal callers coming out of high school. In fact, the last three starting quarterbacks for WVU were all transfers (Clint Trickett, Skyler Howard, Will Grier).

West Virginia only has two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster in Sophomore Jack Allison and freshman Trey Lowe and currently haven’t signed one.

“Quarterback is still a need at this point.” Said Holgorsen. “Hadn’t signed one. I think ya’ll can figure out what we’ve been successful with quarterbacks and what we’ll continue to try to look for in quarterbacks.” Dana added, “We’ll obviously probably bring somebody in, in the summer. Moving forward still looking for who we can get.”

Take a look at 18 current signees:

Offense

OL 6-7 Donovan Beaver 6-7 310-lbs Fredericksburg, VA

OL Parker Moorer 6-4 283-lbs Charlotte, NC

OL Brandon Yates 6-4 185-lbs Middletown, DE

WR Terence Doston 5-11 160-lbs Tampa, FL

WR Isaiah Esdale 6-1 203-lbs Elkton, MD

WR Ali Jennings 6-1 180-lbs Richmond, VA

WR Winston Wright 5-10 160-lbs Pooler, GA

RB Tony Mathis 6-0 191-lbs Orlando, FL

Defense

DL Taijh Alston 6-5 240-lbs Carthage, NC

DL Jalen Thornton 6-2 250-lbs Cincinnati, OH

LB Jared Bartlett 6-2 216-lbs Suwanee, GA

LB VanDarius Cowan 6-4 233-lbs Palm Beach Gardens, FL

CB Nicktroy Fortune 5-11 182-lbs Roswell, GA

CB Kerry Martin Jr 6-1 179-lbs Charleston, WV

CB Dreshun Miller 6-2 185-lbs Kennesaw, GA

S Osita Smith 6-2 198-lbs Bowie, MD

S Tykee Smith 5-10 190-lbs Philadelphia, PA

Special Teams

K/P Kolton McGhee 6-0 175-lbs Altoona, PA

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