Taking A Look At WVU’s Remaining Recruiting Targets
Like other FBS programs, the Mountaineers will invest in their future Wednesday when they sign high school and junior college prospects for the class of 2019.
West Virginia currently has 15 verbal commitments in this class, and all are expected to sign on the first day of the commitment period.
WVU will likely sign a total of 19 or 20 recruits during the early National Letter of Intent period, which runs from Dec. 19-21, so there will be a few additions to this class beyond those who have already verballed. With a 23 scholarships available for the class of 2019, West Virginia will keep three or four spots in reserve for February signees or late transfers.
Here’s a look at what WVU has committed and what we project is to come.
Quarterback – committed: none
Projected additions: West Virginia doesn’t have any known quarterback recruits who are expected to sign this week, but there’s always a chance at a late surprise. With just two scholarship QBs currently on the roster who are eligible to return next year (Jack Allison and Trey Lowe), WVU could certainly use at least one quarterback in this class and maybe two, if the second is a transfer. But right now, those prospects are unknown. The Mountaineers definitely will add a walk-on or two at this position as well, potentially even Logan Holgorsen, the son of WVU’s head coach Dana Holgorsen.
Running back – committed: Tony Mathis
Further additions: none expected. With no scholarship senior running backs on this year’s squad, Mathis will almost certainly be the only signee at the running back position.
Wide receiver – committed: Terence Doston and Winston Wright
Further additions: WVU will probably add one more receiver to this class, and Ali Jennings of Highland Springs (Va.) High School is very likely to be the third receiver in this group. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Jennings has a number of Power 5 offers, but he has had the Mountaineers at the top of his list for quite a while. You never say never, but Doston, Wright and Jennings are the only expected WR signees for WVU this year. There could be a transfer at the position down the line, though.
Tight end – committed: none
Further additions: none expected. Even though West Virginia’s starting tight end Trevon Wesco is graduating, WVU returns Jovani Haskins, as well as a pair of true freshmen tight ends who redshirted this year, T.J. Banks and Mike O’Laughlin. Further scholarship additions at this position are unlikely this year.
Offensive line – committed: Donavan Beaver, Parker Moorer and Brandon Yates
Further additions: WVU will likely add one more offensive lineman to this class and it will probably be someone from the junior college ranks. Blake Bedier of Snow (Utah) Community College and Paiton Fears of Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College are two juco offensive linemen West Virginia has been dealing with and either could potentially sign with the Mountaineers.
Defensive line – committed: Tiajh Alston (JC) and Jalen Thornton
Further additions: WVU will likely add another defensive lineman to this class, but that may not come on Wednesday. West Virginia will scour the transfer possibilities, be it a juco, four-year or grad transfer, looking for someone to provide immediate help along the d-line next year. It is possible WVU won’t find such a transfer until the spring or summer.
Linebacker – committed: Jared Bartlett
Further additions: The Mountaineers are unlikely to add another scholarship linebacker in this class besides Bartlett. Without a senior linebacker on WVU’s 2018 roster, there’s not a huge need for further depth at the position. West Virginia also could find a linebacker or two from within the safety position, as it’s often done in the past with safeties-turned-linebackers like Nick Kwiatkoski, Dylan Tonkery, JoVanni Stewart and Exree Loe.
Safety – committed: Kerry Martin, Osita Smith, Tykee Smith
Further additions: Even though West Virginia already has commitments from three safety prospects, it isn’t done recruiting at the position. Isheem Young of Imhotep Charter in Philadelphia, Pa., would seem the most likely possibility. A one-time Penn State commit who lost his offer from the Nittany Lions after a juvenile charge last year for armed robbery, Young is looking for a second chance and WVU may provide that for the four-star recruit. In addition, Jamel Starks of Decatur, Ga., is a prospect who the Mountaineers have been recruiting. He could be a safety or corner in college, but Starks said recently he intends to wait until February to make a decision.
Cornerback – committed: Nicktroy Fortune and Dreshun Miller (JC)
Further additions: With two corner prospects ready to sign on Wednesday, WVU doesn’t necessarily need to sign another in this class, but it would like ink one more. Thus it’s expected the Mountaineers will add another CB beyond Fortune and Miller. Considering West Virginia’s top three cornerbacks this season all will be seniors in 2019, the Mountaineers need to start preparing for the future. A juco, Miller is two-year help, but WVU will need to develop some other young corners to go with Fortune. Tavian Mayo of Lee County (Ga.) High School is the main cornerback prospect West Virginia has targeted.
Specialist – committed: Kolton McGhee (P/K)
Further additions: none. While WVU will certainly bring in additional kickers and longsnappers via the walk-on route, McGhee will be the only scholarship specialist to sign in this year’s class.