WVU Football Class of 2018 Early Signee Tracker
As Class of 2018 football verbal commitments sign (or don’t) during the early period, we will update their status here.
Tyrese Allen DT 6-3 292 Paintsville HS \ Paintsville, KY
Played for coach Joe Chirico at Paintsville High … 2017 all-area player of the year … two-time all-area … finished with 155 total tackles, including 88 solos … also ran for 1,468 yards and scored 26 total touchdowns as a senior … led Tigers to an 11-2 record and trip to the semifinals of the 2017 Kentucky Class 1A Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl playoffs … selected to play in the Best of the Bluegrass All-Star football game … named to 2017 Kentucky Mr. Football Watch List … registered 65 tackles as a junior … played the first two seasons of his high school career for coach Jim Matney at Johnson Central High … rated a three-star prospect by ESPN … No. 8 overall in Kentucky by ESPN …also offered by Cincinnati, Memphis, Purdue, Western Kentucky.
T.J. Banks TE 6-5 240 East Allegheny HS\ North Versailles, PA
Banks and Mike O’Laghlin teamed up for a photo on their official visit, and Banks is looking forward to signing on Dec. 20.
Played tight end, wide receiver and defensive end for coach Dominic Pecora at East Allegheny High. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fab 22 and
Pittsburgh Tribune Review 2017 Trib 25 All-Star team. Helped lead East Allegheny to a 7-4 record and quarterfinals of WPIAL 2A playoffs.
Finished with 48 catches for 679 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 14.1 yards per catch. Named 2016 All-WPIAL Three Rivers Conference. Had 34 catches for 479 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior. No. 19 tight end nationally, No. 21 prospect in Pennsylvania and No. 88 in the East by ESPN
Also offered by Cincinnati, Illinois, Maryland, Pitt, Syracuse, Temple, Toledo and UCF
Charlie Benton LB 6-4 215 Butler CC\ Opelika, AL
Played for coach Tim Schaffner at Butler Community College (Kan.) … helped team to an 8-3 record in 2017 … finished the season ranked third on the team with 34 tackles, tied for second with 10 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one interception … All-KJCCC Second Team (2017) … No. 5 ranked outside linebacker by ESPN … also offered by Iowa State … previously played three seasons for coach Brian Blackmon at Opelika High (Ala.) … helped team to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the Alabama 6A Quarterfinals in 2015 … finished the 2015 season with 72 tackles, nine pass breakups, four tackles for loss, four interceptions and three sacks … had 158 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 17 pass breakups, five interceptions, and two fumble recoveries during high school career … played in the 2015 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … Opelika-Auburn News All-Area First Team (2015).
Leddie Brown RB 6-1 195 Neumann-Goretti HS \ Philadelphia, PA
Played for coach Albie Crosby at Neumann-Goretti High … 2017 Pennsylvania Football Writers Class 2A All-State (RB) … finished with 899 yards rushing, 178 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns as a senior … helped lead Neumann-Goretti to an 11-1 record, a 6-0 conference mark and the second round of the 2A PIAA Football Championships … had a season-high 164 yards and three touchdowns in a first-round state playoff victory over Schuylkill Haven … earned all-state first-team honors at Smyrna High in Delaware as a junior … posted 1,681 all-purpose yards, ran for 780 yards and 14 touchdowns, finished with 458 yards and seven touchdowns receiving, had 353 yards in kickoff returns and 140 in punt returns … three-star rating by ESPN … ESPN300 … No. 1 running back in Delaware and No. 85 running back nationally by ESPN … also offered by Alabama, Florida, Louisville, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee and UCLA.
Josh Chandler LB 6-1 220 McKinley HS \ Canton, OH
Played at Canton McKinley High for coach Dan Reardon. Registered 86 tackles as a senior, including 17 for loss, while dealing with a knee injury for much of the year that caused him to play only seven games. Also accumulated two sacks and two fumble recoveries for the Bulldogs in 2017. Ran for 367 yards and four touchdowns on offense as a senior. Helped Canton McKinley to an 8-3 campaign in 2017, including a berth in the Division I playoffs and share of the Federal League championship.
2017 Division I All-Ohio First Team, 2017 Division I All-Northeast Inland District First Team, 2016, 2017 All-Federal League First Team, 2017 Academic All-Ohioan, 2016 Division I All-Ohio Second Team
Finished with 76 tackles, including 12 for a loss, two sacks and an interception as a junior. Earned four letters in football, two in basketball and two in track and field. Played first two years of high-school career at GlenOak High for coach Scott Garcia. Three-star rating by ESPN.
Also offered by Air Force, Akron, Miami (OH), Ohio, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan
Randy Fields WR 6-3 195 St. Frances HS \ Baltimore, MD
Played for coach Henry Russell at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. As a senior in 2017, named All-Metro second team. Finished with 38 catches for 625 yards and seven touchdowns. Helped lead St. Frances to a 12-0 record, the Class A MIAA championship, No. 1 ranking in Maryland and No. 11 in the nation.
St. Frances will play Bignham (Utah) in the second annual GEICO Champions Bowl on Dec. 23 in Arizona. As a junior, he earned Maryland Private School All-Metro and All-State honors, helping lead St. Frances to a Class A MIAA Championship. Caught 61 passes for 995 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Had 13 catches for 210 yards and three touchdowns against No. 1 McDonogh. Three-star rating by ESPN.com. No. 23 by ESPN.com. Also offered by Cincinnati, Pitt, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest
James Gmiter DL 6-4 300 Bethel Park HS \ Bethel Park, PA
Played offensive and defensive tackle for coach Jeff Metheny at Bethel Park High. Four-year starter, two-time WPIAL Class 6A All-Southeastern Conference.
Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Trib 25 All-Star Team and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fab 22.
Helped lead Bethel Park to an 8-2 record and the 6A Southeastern Conference championship. Finished with 39 tackles, three sacks, six tackles for loss and one batted pass. Paved the way for the offense to average 263.1 rushing yards per game and 34.4 points as a run-first offense. Invited to play in the Blue-Gray All-Star Game.
As a junior, named honorable mention Class 6A all-state selection. Nominated for Mr. Pennsylvania Lineman of the Year. Participated in the U.S. Army Combine
Three-star rating by ESPN. No. 26 ranked in Pennsylvania by ESPN.com
Also offered by Wisconsin.
Sam James WR 6-1 170 Richmond Hill HS \ Richmond Hill, GA
James has set a noon event for his signing with WVU, but has already sent his LOI in to WVU.
Played at Richmond Hill High for coach Matthew LeZotte. 2017 honorable mention Georgia Class 6A All-State selection, by the Georgia Sports Writers Association. 2017 Region 2-6A All-Region First Team,.Member of the 2017 WJCL Big 22 Squad.
Caught 53 passes for 905 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior, good for an average of 17.1 yards per catch. Helped lead Wildcats to a 7-3 record and trip to the Georgia Class 6A Playoffs. 2016 The Opening Orlando Regional participant.
As a junior, caught 42 passes for 917 yards and eight touchdowns. Plays basketball and also runs track at Richmond Hill, winning the Georgia 6A state championship in the 400 meters as a junior.
Also offered by Cincinnati, Colorado State, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Memphis, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, UCF and Wake Forest.
Tavis Lee DE 6-1 170 Martinsburg HS \ Martinsburg, WV
Lee is not expected to sign during the early period. He remains committed to WVU.
Trey Lowe QB 6-4 200 Bolivar Central HS \ Collierville, TN
Played for his father, coach Woodrow Lowe Jr., at Bolivar Central High. One of five semifinalists for Mr. Football in Tennessee. Helped lead team to a 6-5 record and a spot in the Tennessee Division I Class 3A state playoffs. Three-time all-district selection. Steve Young Co-Award Winner (MVP). Invited to play in Toyota East/West All-Star Game.
Finished career as all-time passing leader at Bolivar High with 5,568 yards and 53 passing touchdowns, rushed for 25 career touchdowns and had 78 total touchdowns. Earned West Tennessee Player of the Week (Game 5). As a senior, finished with 2,759 total yards and 30 touchdowns, completed 108-of-167 passes for 1,819 yards, 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Also ran for 940 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Helped lead Bolivar from 6-5 as a sophomore to 8-3 as a junior. Completed 61 percent of his passes, threw for 1,601 yards and 20 touchdowns
Ran for an additional four touchdowns. Two-time baseball all-district/all-tournament team.
Four-star rating by ESPN. ESPN300 prospect, no. 13 pocket passer nationally and No. 6 in Tennessee by ESPN.
Also offered by Army, Houston, Illinois, Memphis, Navy, Ohio and North Carolina.
Briason Mays OT 6-4 290 Bolivar Central HS \ Bolivar, TN
Played for coach Woodrow Lowe Jr. at Bolivar Central. Four-year starter and three-time All-Region 7-3A First-Team honoree. Two-time all-district selection.
Helped lead team to a 6-5 record and a spot in the Tennessee Division I Class 3A state playoffs. Steve Young Co-Award Winner. Invited to play in Toyota East/West All-Star Game.
Paved the way for the offense to rush for 3,071 yards, pass for 1,828 yards and score 36.9 points per game. Graded out to 94 percent and finished with 101 pancake blocks. Finished with 47 tackles on the defensive line.
Three-star ranking by ESPN. Ranked as No. 32 in the state of Tennessee by ESPN
Also offered by Air Force, Army, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Navy, Toledo and UCF
Joshua Norwood CB 5-11 185 Northwest Mississippi CC \ Valdosta, GA
Played one season for coach Benjy Parker at Northwest Mississippi Community College (Miss.) … All-NJCAA Region 23 First Team (2017) … All-MACJC First Team (2017) … helped Northwest Mississippi CC to an 8-3 record and an appearance in the Graphic Edge Bowl … finished the season third on the team with 71 tackles, five pass breakups, three tackles for loss and one interception … four-star rating by ESPN … No. 2 safety nationally and No. 23 in the nation by ESPN … ESPNJC50 … previously played two seasons at Ohio State (2015-16) … played in 11 games during the 2016 season, helping the team to an 11-2 record and Fiesta Bowl berth … finished the season with eight tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass breakup … redshirted the 2015 season … played for coach Rance Gillespie at Valdosta High (Ga.) … finished the 2014 season with 44 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups, six interceptions and five forced fumbles … Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State First Team (2014) … Region 1-6A co-Defensive Player of the Year (2014) … All-Region 1-6A First Team (2014).
Mike O’Laughlin WR\TE 6-5 215 Fenwick HS \ Oak Park, IL
Kwantel Raines S 6-3 206 S 5-9 175 Aliquippa HS \Aliquippa, PA
Played for legendary Coach Mike Zmijnanc at Aliquippa High School … helped team to a 12-1 season, a 6-0 conference mark and a No. 3 ranking in the state … Quips made their 10th straight appearance in the WPIAL championship game … 3A Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Trib 25 All-Star Team … two-time All-Beaver Valley Conference First-Team selection … nominated for the 2018 US Army All-American Bowl … Top-10 prospect in the state and WPIAL … also played quarterback and wide receiver … collected three interceptions in a win over South Park … created six turnovers in the first two playoff games of 2017 … team leader of one of the best defenses statistic-wise in the WPIAL, allowing just one touchdown in the regular season … MaxPreps preseason All-American … four-star ranking by ESPN … ESPN ranks him No. 17 at his position, No. 25 in the region and No. 9 in the state … ESPN300 … MaxPreps lists him as the No. 12 best recruit in Pennsylvania … joins fellow Aliquippa High standout Dravon Askew-Henry on the Mountaineer roster … received more than 30 scholarship offers, including Cal, Florida, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Michigan State, NC State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, TCU, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.
Jayce Rogers CB 5-9 175 Valdosta HS \ Valdosta, GA
Rogers will not sign with WVU during the early period.
Blaine Scott OL 6-4 300 East HS \ Portsmouth, OH
Four-year starter and senior captain for coach James Gifford at Sciotoville Community School. 2017 First Team Division VII All-Ohio honoree, three-time All-Southern Ohio Conference First-Team. Three-time Associated Press Division VII All-Southeast District First-Team.
Recorded 78 pancake blocks as a senior. Led the offensive line that allowed the Tartans to gain 2,094 rushing yards in 2017. Three-star rating by ESPN.
Also starred on the basketball court, earning Southern Ohio Conference All-Star honors in 2016. No. 16 in Ohio, No. 23 guard nationally and No. 34 in the Midwest by ESPN.
Also offered by Arkansas, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, Minnesota, NC State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse and Vanderbilt.
Skyler Simcox K 6-0 190 Western Kentucky \ Abingdon, VA
Transfer from Western Kentucky. Helped the Colonels to an 11-3 record and a victory in the Boca Raton Bowl in 2016. Converted 16-of-22 field goals and 70-of-71 PATs to rank second on the team with 118 points.Became the third kicker in school history with two 50-yard field goals in a career after hitting a 50-yard field goal against Houston Baptist and a 52-yard field goal against Middle Tennessee.
Previously played one season at Emory & Henry College (Va.). Converted 9-of-11 field goals and 38-of-40 PATs in 2015. D3football.com All-Region Third Team (2015), and All-ODAC First Team (2015).
Attended Abingdon High (Va.), where he tallied 57 points and made 39-of-41 PATs in 2014
Dillon Spalding WR 6-2 220 South County HS \ Lorton, VA
Played for coach Gerry Pannoni at South County High School … Two-time All-Met selection … Washington Post All-Metro and All-State first team selection … As a senior, he caught 43 passes for 916 yards and 14 touchdowns … Also added 152 yards on 18 carries and nine touchdowns rushing … Topped the 100-yard receiving mark five times … Top game came against Langley when he caught eight passes for 187 yards and four touchdowns
Averaged 18.4 yards per catch … As a junior he totaled 67 receptions for 1,069 yards and 14 scores … Averaged 16.0 yards per catch … Career numbers showed him with 196 catches for 3,470 yards and 53 touchdowns … Averaged nearly 80.0 receiving yards per game for his career and 18.0 yards per catch … A member of the USA Under 17 Football National Team … Also a standout lacrosse player, totaling 71 career goals for South County … Three-star ranking by ESPN … Ranked the No. 17 best prospect in Virginia by ESPN and No. 9 by MaxPreps … Also offered by Indiana, Michigan, NC State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest
Dante Stills DL 6-4 260 Fairmont Senior HS \ Fairmont, WV
A three-time Class AA All-State performer for coach Nick Bartic and J.L. Abbott at Fairmont Senior High School. Named defensive captain and a first-team selection of the 2017 West Virginia AA All-State team. Also a first-team All-State selection as a junior and a second team All-State selection as a sophomore. Named a 2017 Under Armour All-American.
Led the Polar Bears to consecutive state runner-up finishes in 2016 and 2017. Team finished 12-2 overall and 8-0 in its conference in 2017. Collected 81 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks as a senior. As a junior, he collected 75 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 quarterback sacks.
A four-time member of the Times West Virginian football team. Ranked as the state’s No. 1 prospect by ESPN, member of the ESPN 300. ESPN ranks him the No. 24 best recruit in the region and No. 21 at his position. Participant in the prestigious Nike Opening Camp.
His brother, Darius, is a freshman on the 2017 Mountaineer football team. Father, Gary, was an All-Big East standout linebacker at WVU for Hall of Fame Coach Don Nehlen, before enjoying a successful pro career with Kansas City and Baltimore. Also offered by Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Junior Uzebu OL 6-6 290 Alpharetta HS \ Alpharetta GA
Uzebu also has a cermony planned, but has sent his signed LOI to WVU.
Played offensive tackle for coach Jacob Nichols at Alpharetta High. Earned second-team All-Region 7-6A honors. Anchored an offensive line that paved the way for 2,062 rushing yards by Raiders’ backs and passed for 2,590 yards for more than 4,500 yards of total offense as a senior.
Helped lead Alpharetta to an 11-2 record, 8-0 in the region and advanced to the final four of the state playoffs. As a junior, helped the team finished 7-4 and make an appearance in the first round of the state playoffs.
Three-star rating by ESPN. ESPN rated him as No. 48 best offensive tackle prospect.
Also offered by Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, NC State, Pitt, Syracuse and USF
Keith Washington CB 6-2 180 Copiah-Lincoln CC \ Prattville, AL
Played for coach Glenn Davis at Copiah-Lincoln CC. Saw action nine games, finishing with 20 tackles, including 14 unassisted tackles and 2.2 tackles for loss. Also had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, two interceptions and five pass breakups.
Three-star rating by ESPN. ESPN lists him as the No. 8 cornerback nationally. Lettered at Michigan for the 2016 season. Played on special teams units in nine games and also saw time at cornerback. Tallied one special teams stop against Wisconsin (Oct. 1), his first career tackle. Contributed one special teams tackle at Rutgers (Oct. 8) and against Illinois (Oct. 22). Saw time on special teams against Michigan State (Oct. 29) and Maryland (Nov. 5). Redshirted as a true freshman in 2015.
Played for coach Chad Anderson at Prattville High. Two-time Montgomery Advertiser Player of the Year (2014-15). Was a dual-threat quarterback in high school and completed 93-of-162 passes for 1,718 yards and 17 touchdowns. Ran the ball 152 times for 1,201 yards and scored 20 touchdowns. Also offered by Kansas, Memphis, Texas Tech and Toledo.
Bryce Wheaton WR 6-3 200 Holly Springs HS \ Holly Springs, NC
Wheaton will sign at a school event at 10:30 a.m., but has already sent his completed LOI to WVU.
I'll be signing my NLI Wednesday at 10:30am in the gym at holly springs, everyone is welcome
— Bryce Wheaton (@Brycewheat3) December 17, 2017
Will be a third generation Mountaineer behind grandfather Garrett Ford Sr. and uncle Garrett Ford Jr., who were standout running backs at West Virginia
Grandfather was also a long-time administrator at WVU. An All-SWAC selection as a senior, selected to the 2017 Shrine Bowl for Team North Carolina.
Team offensive MVP as a senior despite missing six games due to a shoulder injury. Three-year lettermen for Holly Springs.Three-star ranking by ESPN. ESPN ranks him No. 23 in the state and No. 144 nationally at his position. Second-team South Wake All-Conference selection.
Also played defensive back and ran track for Holly Springs. Sophomore and junior totals combined were 42 catches for 479 yards with a long reception of 66 yards. Averaged 11.4 yards per catch in those two years with six touchdowns. Also as a sophomore and junior totaled 184 rushing yards and two touchdowns with an average of 11.5 yards per carry.
Also offered by Missouri, Syracuse, Louisville and Washington State.
Alex Williams DE 6-6 250 Pickerington North HS \ Pickerington, OH
Williams is expected to defect from WVU and sign with Ohio State, which was a late offer.