As the season comes to a rapid close, the focus of the West Virginia coaching staff will start to slowly turn towards recruiting the future of the program. National Signing Day is officially under three weeks away and the Mountaineers have some work to do.
The 2019 recruiting class currently has only 15 commitments at the moment, which is a little low for the time of year. The class has already seen departures from linebackers Lee Kpogba and Dewayne Grantham and wide receiver Deshon Stoudemire. Grantham, a Martinsburg, WV native had his scholarship offer pulled recently which may have to do with his injury history. Linebacker Lee Kpogba is a four-star recruit who has been committed to the Mountaineers for over a year and decided to open up his recruitment last month and has since committed to Syracuse.
Names to watch for
DB Dreshun Miller- Eastern Arizona JC (LSU commit)
QB Messiah deWeaver- East Mississippi CC
CB M.J. Devonshire- Aliquippa, PA
WR Yusuf Terry- Philadelphia, PA (Baylor commit)
WR Ali Jennings- Highland Springs, VA
OL Darius Tisdale- Lackawanna CC
OL Moses Mallory- Eastern Arizona JC
DL D’Von Ellies- Owings Mills, MD
CB Emmanuel Jenkins- Canton, GA
Confirmed Dec 7th visitors
DL Taijh Alston, CB Nicktroy Fortune, S Osita Smith, DL Jalen Thornton, ATH Kerry Martin Jr., RB Tony Mathis and LB Jared Bartlett (All WVU commits).
Expected: JUCO DB Dreshun Miller (LSU commit)
Confirmed Dec 14th visitors
WR Ali Jennings, K Kolton McGhee, OL Brandon Yates and WR Winston Wright Jr.
Expected January visitors
WR Isaiah Hazel, OL Parker Moorer and ATH Amir Richardson
Current West Virginia commits by position breakdown
RB- Tony Mathis
WR- Isaiah Hazel, Winston Wright Jr.
OL- Donovan Beaver, Parker Moorer, Brandon Yates
DL– Taijh Alston, Jalen Thornton
LB- Jared Bartlett
S- Tykee Smith, Osita Smith, Kerry Martin Jr., Amir Richardson
Specialists- K Kolton McGhee
Quarterback– Although the quarterback situation seems to be in pretty good hands with Jack Allison the next two years and freshman Trey Lowe sitting and developing behind him, it is a must that Holgorsen finds a quarterback in this class. At the moment, there are only be two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster for the 2019 season that is Allison and Lowe. The top quarterbacks on the Mountaineers board have all committed elsewhere, leaving the door open for a transfer or grad transfer to come in. I would not be shocked to see Logan Holgorsen, Dana’s son, who is committed to Bowling Green come on board if it comes down to it.
Defensive line– The defensive line returns a lot of pieces next year including Darius & Dante Stills, Reese Donahue and Jeffery Pooler, but will certainly miss the production of Kenny Bigelow. A solid defense needs to have a legitimate pass rusher which is something we have not seen in Morgantown since Shaq Riddick in 2014. They may have found their edge rusher with JUCO transfer Taijh Alston, but that will only be a two-three year fix. Adding one more pass rusher in this class would be huge.
Cornerback- West Virginia has had some pretty solid corners in the Tony Gibson era with guys like Daryl Worley, Terrell Chestnut and Rasul Douglas, but finding a lockdown corner has been tough to find. You can never have enough help at the corner position in the Big 12, with teams throwing it 30-40 times a game you need to rotate guys in and keep bodies fresh. I anticipate the Mountaineers to look at the JUCO route as it has brought them a lot of success.