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National Signing Day Primer

National Signing Day was once regarded as a holiday for college football enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the NCAA dampened the drama and excitement by initiating a new early signing period, allowing recruits to sign and enroll early in December rather than waiting until February.

Dana Holgorsen and company have secured the talents of some of the best prospects to ever commit to the Mountaineers, taking full advantage of the early signing period.

West Virginia confirmed the pledges of 20 signess in December, leaving little work left to be done on the recruiting trail. But, the Mountaineers are still vying for a handful of recruits left unsigned.

Let’s dive into the players left unsigned and the chances the Mountaineers have bringing them to Morgantown.

Before the early signing period, Martinsburg (WV) defensive end Tavis Lee ended his recruitment and committed to West Virginia but didn’t sign come December. This can mostly be attributed to preference rather than indecision on Lee’s part. He is widely considered the second-best prospect in the Mountain State and West Virginia is his only division one offer other than Marshall. The Mountaineers have been afforded the luxury of being overly picky with which recruits they take or leave on the board, but Lee is a player that shows a lot of promise as a future linebacker for defensive coordinator Tony Gibson. The class is getting full, however, so I’m not going all in, yet.

Chances of coming to Morgantown: 98% 

Since Lee’s commitment, West Virginia has secured the commitments of brothers and offensive linemen Mike and Joe Brown. Joe, once enrolled at BYU, and Mike, once committed to Kansas, recently visited Morgantown and committed almost immediately. Having gone the JUCO route (Eastern Arizona Junior College), both will provide depth and versatility in the trenches in 2018. Joe only has one year of eligibility remaining but plans on petitioning to the NCAA for an additional year. Mike has three seasons of eligibility remaining. Their visit and commitments came as a pleasant surprise, but the coaching staff wouldn’t have brought them to Morgantown for just a visit.

Chances of coming to Morgantown: 100%

There is one target who has taken to heart the meaning of signing on National Signing Day. More impressively, defensive lineman Emmit Gooden has made it rather difficult to gauge where he’ll be signing tomorrow. Hailing from Brownsville, TN, the 4-star prospect initially committed to the Volunteers out of high school before enrolling at Independence Junior College in Kansas. Since then, his recruitment reopened, enticing the likes of Arkansas, Mississippi State, and West Virginia. Tennessee still remains an option for Gooden after he announced they would be a finalist alongside West Virginia and Arkansas. Gooden would bring a mix of size and explosiveness to the defensive line that West Virginia hasn’t had in quite some time. If he chooses the Mountaineers, he’ll immediately be one of the best recruits of the 2018 class. He quietly took a visit to Knoxville after leaving Morgantown but has remained silent since then.

Chances of coming to Morgantown: 65%

Graduated from East Tennessee State University with a BA in English and minor in journalism. Born and raised in Huntington, WV before moving to Johnson City, TN to attend school. Now married and rooted in Bristol, TN. Follow Matt on Twitter @MattAlbrightGBZ

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