WVU Football Early Signee Tracker
The early signing period for Division I football is now underway. For high school players, it’s three days, running from Dec 19-21, 2018. Mid-year junior college graduates have an extended time, running from Dec. 19 – Jan. 15, 2019. As players send their National Letters of Intent to West Virginia, we’ll add them to the signed list. Click on each player’s name for his bio page and video highlights.
Van Darius Cowan and Isaiah Esdale are already in the class, having transferred to WVU from Alabama and Eastern Arizona Community College in August, 2018.
Also included below the signed list are WVU’s current verbal commitments in the Class of 2019.
Brandon Yates OL 6-5 265 Liberty HS Henderson, NV
Played offensive tackle for coach Richard Muraco at Liberty Baptist Academy (Las Vegas, Nevada) … as a senior, named All-4A Desert Southeast Conference First Team and All-Southeast Region … helped Liberty advance to the state semifinals of the Class 4A state playoffs … as a junior, helped lead Liberty to an 11-2 record, a spot in the state semifinals and a No. 2 ranking in the state … team averaged 357.4 yards per game and finished with 63 touchdowns … three-star prospect by ESPN … rated No. 8 in Nevada by ESPN … ranked No. 115 offensive tackle nationally by ESPN … also received offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Colorado State, USC, Utah and Washington State.
Nicktroy Fortune CB 6-0 175 Central Gwinnett Co. HS Lawrenceville, GA
Played for coach Todd Wofford at Central Gwinnett High … earned all-region honors in 2018 … recipient of the 2018 Black Knight Award, which goes to top overall player on the team … helped the Black Knights to the Georgia 7A playoffs in 2018 … finished with 50 tackles, including 39 solo stops, four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and five pass breakups as a senior … team captain … selected to play in the Gwinnett County All-Star Game … registered 34 tackles, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and 12 pass breakups as a junior … also ran track at Central Gwinnett … rated a three-star prospect by ESPN, rivals and 247Sports … ranked as the No. 76 overall recruit in Georgia by ESPN … also received offers from Virginia, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, Syracuse and Wisconsin.
Winston Wright WR 5-10 170 Memorial Day HS Savannah, GA
Played for coach Michael Thompson at Memorial Day School … three-time all-state and all-region selection … earned all-city first-team honors … named team’s most valuable player and leadership award recipient … helped lead Memorial Day to two state titles and a spot in the state semifinals as a senior … finished with 700 rushing yards and more than 1,000 receiving yards in 2018 … named the Savannah Morning News High School Player of the Week when he finished with more than 200 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns (48- and 65-yard touchdown catches, 75-yard punt return and a 15-yard run for a score) in the GISA quarterfinals against Brentwood … earned a spot on WJCL’s Big 22 squad … as a junior, he had 940 receiving yards and 631 rushing yards … All-Savannah News First Team selection on both sides of the ball … as a sophomore, he ran for 1,039 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging more than 11.0 yards per carry … also had 700 receiving yards and three touchdowns … rated a three-star prospect by ESPN, and No. 82 athlete by ESPN … rated the No. 91 prospect in the state ESPN … also received offers from Boston College, Colorado State, Duke, Illinois, Iowa State, North Carolina, Temple, UCF, USF and Wake Forest.
Dreshun Miller CB 6-2 185 Eastern Arizona CC Kennesaw, GA
Played the past two seasons for Coach John O’Meara at Eastern Arizona College … named All-WSFL All-League and All-Region … in 2018, he registered 44 tackles, including three tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery … also had one interception that he returned for a touchdown … in 2017, he collected 41 tackles, including three tackles for loss and an interception … two-year totals of 85 tackles, six tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups and two interceptions … led Eastern Arizona to the 2018 Junior College National Championship Game … earned Defensive Most Valuable Player honors for the 2017 Salt City Bowl … Four-star rating by ESPN coming out of high school … played for Coach Billy Shackelford at Sprayberry High School … earned All-Region 7-5A Division B First Team honors … also was a member of the Sprayberry track team … also received offers from LSU, Texas A&M, Houston, Kentucky, Tennessee and Auburn.
Parker Moorer OL 6-5 290 Mallard Creek HS Charlotte, NC
A two-way lineman for coach Michael Palmieri at Mallard Creek High … 2018 I-Meck 4A All-Conference Team … helped guide Mallard Creek to a 10-1 record in 2018, including a 7-0 record in the I-Meck Conference and a No. 9 ranking in the state … was a member of an offense that scored 475 points (43.2 per game) … the Mavericks earned a No. 1 overall seed in the 2018 North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 4A Football Championships … selected to play in the 82nd Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in 2018 … in 2017, he was a part of a Mallard Creek team that secured a 14-1 overall record and finished as the state runner-up in the NCHSAA 4A Football Championship … in 2015, was a member of the Mallard Creek team that won the NCHSAA 4AA Football Championship and finished the season with a 15-2 overall record … rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN … rated as No. 82 offensive tackle nationally by ESPN … ESPN ranks him as the No. 41 high school prospect in North Carolina … also received offers from Maryland, Colorado State, Louisville, Marshall, Rutgers, Syracuse, UCF and Virginia.
Tony Mathis RB 6-1 195 Cedartown HS Cedartown, GA
Played for coach Doyle Kelley at Cedartown High School … Class 5-AAAA Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 … earned the team’s inaugural Nick Chubb Award in leading the Bulldogs to the GHSA playoffs in 2018 … finished with 1,042 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns on 169 carries in 2018 … team captain … selected to play in the Rising Senior Game in 2017 … helped Cedartown to a 10-win season as a junior … ran for 1,035 yards and added 407 receiving and 402 return yards in 2017, earning all-region honors … 2017 Rome News-Tribune All-Area Second Team selection … scored 27 total touchdowns as a junior… rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN.com … also ran track at Cedartown … also received offers from Iowa State, Louisville, Purdue and Wake Forest.
Ali Jennings WR 6-1 180 Highland Springs HS Richmond, VA
Played for coach Loren Johnson at Highland Springs High … 2018 VHSL All-State First Team … 2018 All-Richmond Metro Area First Team … 2018 All-Class 5A (Region B) First Team Offense selection … in 2018, he caught 40 passes for 874 yards and seven touchdowns … led Highland Springs to a perfect 15-0 record and the 2018 VHSL Group 5A State Championship, defeating Stone Bridge, 37-26 … selected to the North roster of the 2018 Virginia Big River Rivalry All-Star Game … transferred to Highland Springs for his senior year from Hermitage High … as a junior at Hermitage, he caught 47 passes for 709 yards and 13 touchdowns … rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN … ranked No. 28 in the state of Virginia by ESPN … also received offers from Air Force, Army, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Navy and North Carolina.
Terence Doston WR 5-11 175 Hillsborough HS Tampa, FL
Played for coach Earl Garcia at Hillsborough High School … caught 21 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns as a senior … returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the team’s season opener against Plant … hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions against Blake … finished with eight catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay … ranked No. 20 in Tampa Bay Times’ HomeTeam 100 Countdown last August … led Hillsborough to the FHSAA Class 6A playoffs as a junior … also a standout outfielder on the Hillsborough baseball team, who plans to play on the Mountaineer baseball team … hit .361 with 12 runs scored, 12 RBIs and eight stolen bases as a junior on the baseball diamond, earning honorable mention all-county … advanced to the Florida state track meet in the long jump … three-star football rating by ESPN … also received offers from Cincinnati, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Stanford and UCF.
Taijh Alston DE 6-4 235 Copiah Lincoln CC Carthage, NC
Played for coach Glen Davis at Copiah Lincoln Community College … earned All-Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) First-Team honors … recorded 78 tackles, including seven sacks, 15 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries last year while helping team to a 6-4 record … 51 of his tackles were solo and his 78 total were second on the team and fifth in the conference … three-star rating from ESPN … in high school, he was a three-year varsity starter as a defensive end for coach Ryan Riggan at Union Pines … completed prep career with 13.5 sacks and averaged 6.5 tackles per game … finished with 96 tackles, 7.0 sacks and 16.0 tackles for loss as a senior captain … had 77 stops, including five sacks and 13 tackles for loss as a junior … recorded 54 tackles as a sophomore … earned All-Cape Fear Valley 3-A Conference First-Team honors … also played tight end … Charlotte Observer ranked him as a top-25 recruit in North Carolina … also a standout in basketball … attended East Carolina before transferring to Copiah-Lincoln CC … also received offers from N.C. State, North Texas, Appalachian State and Western Kentucky.
Kerry Martin S 6-2 190 Capital HS Charleston, WV
Played for coach Jon Carpenter at Capital High … two-time Class AAA All-State First-Team selection … two-time All-USA Today West Virginia First Team Defense … three-time All-Mountain State Athletic Conference First Team Offense (2017-18) … selected to the All-Kanawha Valley Team four times … passed for 2,164 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior at Capital … also rushed for 800 yards and 12 scores … as a quarterback, he guided Capital to WVSSAC Class AAA semifinals for three consecutive seasons (2016-18) … team captain … 2017 MSAC and KV Player of the Year … as a freshman, he was a member of the 2015 Capital High football team that finished as the WVSSAC Class AAA runner-up, … for his career, Martin passed for 6,845 yards and 85 touchdowns … rushed for 2,383 yards and 37 scores … also had 23 receptions, 385 receiving yards and four touchdowns … defensive totals include 55 tackles, one sack, five interceptions, five pass breakups, one fumble recovery and two forced fumbles … also had a blocked field goal and two defensive touchdowns, including a pick-six and a fumble returned for a touchdown … set five school records … rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN … No. 6 ranked recruit in West Virginia by ESPN … also received offers from Army, Cincinnati and Rutgers.
Jared Bartlett LB 6-2 205 Collins Hill HS Suwanee, GA
Played for coach Lenny Gregory at Collins Hill High … finished the 2018 season with 78 tackles, which were second on the team … his 51 solo tackles were also second on the team … led Collins Hill with 15 tackles for loss … excellent pass rusher with five sacks and a team-leading 11 quarterback hurries … also collected 78 tackles as a junior with 60 solo stops and eight tackles for loss … two-year totals of 156 tackles (117 solo), 10 sacks, 23 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries … for his career, averaged 7.8 tackles per game … also spent time at running back, accounting for eight touchdowns in two years and 10.5 yards per carry … with conversions, scored 50 points in two years for the Eagles … a two-year letterwinner in high school … also a standout track performer at Collins Hill … earned all-county first-team honors as a senior … was a two-time All-Regional 6-7A Defensive performer … named All-Gwinnett County Honorable Mention as a junior … rated a three-star prospect from ESPN … ESPN lists him as the No. 106 outside linebacker nationally and the No. 124 best prospect in Georgia … MaxPreps ranked him No. 120 in the state of Georgia … also received offers from, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse and Wake Forest.
Tykee Smith S 5-11 193 Imhotep Charter HS Philadelphia, PA
Played for coach Nick Lincoln at Imhotep Charter High … 2017 USA Today Pennsylvania All-American … 2017 All-Philadelphia Public League First Team selection … two-time team captain … in 2018, he played in 10 games, finishing with 26 total tackles, including 17 solo tackles and eight tackles for loss … also tallied an interception and a fumble recovery … his solo tackles were third best on the team, while his tackles for loss, fumble recoveries and interceptions were No. 2 on the team … offensively, led the Panthers in rushing, carrying the ball 60 times for 502 yards, averaging 8.4 yards per carry and had a long of 95 yards … had a team-leading two 100-yard rushing performances and finished second on the team with 516 all-purpose yards … scored nine times, leading his team in scoring … helped lead Imhotep Charter to an 11-3 record and a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Class 4A State runner-up finish… in his career, helped lead the Panthers to a 37-6 record and the PIAA Class 4A State Championship for three consecutive seasons … finished his career with 63 tackles, including 43 solo tackles, two sacks and 16 tackles for loss … recovered a fumble, has five career interceptions and a pick-six … offensively, he recorded 971 rushing yards for 18 touchdowns, averaging 9.5 yards per carry and has three 100-yard performances … caught 11 passes for 261 yards and five touchdowns … finished with 1,385 all-purpose yards, including 128 interception return yards … rated as a three-star recruit by ESPN … ranked No. 74 safety nationally by ESPN … earned a No. 15 state ranking by ESPN … also received offers from Baylor, Boston College, Duke, Indiana, Kansas.
Osita Smith S 6-2 195 Wilde Lake HS Bowie, MD
Played for coach Michael Harrison at Wilde Lake High … 2017 and 2018 All-Howard County First Team selection … 2017 All-State and All-Baltimore Metro First Team selection … played in 10 games in 2018, tallying 101 total tackles, including 50 solo stops, 7.5 sacks, 21 tackles for loss … led his team in sacks, tackles for loss, registered five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns … also led his team with 26 receptions for 467 yards and eight touchdowns, finishing with 875 all-purpose yards … played in 29 career games, recording 243 total tackles, 20.5 sacks and 61 tackles for loss, 10 passes defended, seven fumble recoveries, seven forced fumbles and a blocked punt … returned three of his seven fumble recoveries for touchdowns … on offense, finished with 50 receptions for 969 yards, with a long of 65 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 19.4 yards per catch … finished with 335 punt return yards and 675 kickoff return yards for 2,163 career all-purpose yards … as a sophomore, he finished with 78 tackles, including seven sacks and 21 tackles for loss … named to ESPN 300 … rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN … rated the No. 40 wide receiver nationally by ESPN and the No. 5 recruit in Maryland … also received offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Marshall, Maryland, Purdue, Rutgers and Wake Forest.
Kolton McGhee K 6-0 170 Bishop Guilfoyle HS Altoona, PA
Played for coach Justin Wheeler at Bishop Guilfoyle High … four-year starting kicker and punter … two-time Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) First Team All-State kicker and punter … two-time all-area kicker … 2018 Mr. Pennsylvania Football nominee … nominated to play in the 2018 Big 33 Football Classic … helped lead Bishop Guilfoyle to a 51-6 four-year record, including back-to-back state championships in 2015 and 2016 and three undefeated regular seasons … went 29-for-29 on PATs and made 7-of-8 field goal attempts as a senior, with a long of 46 yards … also kicked off 48 times for 2,901 yards, averaging 60.4 yards per kickoff … 32 of his kickoffs went for touchbacks in 2018 … longest kickoff of the season went for 74 yards … also punted 34 times for 1,570 yards, averaging 46.2 yards per punt … of his 34 punts, his longest went for 67 yards and 16 landed inside the 20-yard line … scored 50 total points in 2018, averaging 4.2 per game … 2017 MaxPreps Junior All-American … 2016 MaxPreps Sophomore All-American … converted 232-of-242 (95.9%) PATs and 26-of-31 (83.9%) field goals in his career, with a long of 52 yards … in total, he scored 312 points for the Marauders, averaging 5.6 per game … kicked off 357 times in his career for 20,429 yards, averaging 57.2 yards per kickoff, and tallied 183 career touchbacks, with a long of 75 yards … punted 98 times in his career for 4,342 yards, averaging 44.3 yards per punt … the longest punt of his career went for 72 yards, and he placed 43 punts inside the 20-yard line … earned a five-rating as a kicker and No. 4 overall nationally by Kornblue Kicking Top 50 … ranked 4.5 among punters and is No. 18 nationally by Kornblue Punting Top 50 … rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN … ranked No. 27 in Pennsylvania by ESPN … also received offers from Army and Rutgers.
Jalen Thornton DL 6-1 245 Indian Hill HS Cincinnati, OH
A two-way lineman at Indian Hill for coach Tony Arcuri … earned All-Ohio Division IV First Team honors as a senior, and was a third-team member as a junior … team captain … helped lead Indian Hill to a 9-3 overall record, 6-1 mark in the Cincinnati Hills Conference and the second round of the state playoffs … registered 89 tackles, including 45 solo stops, 11.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss … named Cincinnati Hills Conference Defensive Player of the Year, two-time all-conference first team and two-time all-region selection … for his career, he finished with 215 tackles, including 101 solo stops, 16.5 sacks and a fumble recovery … as a junior, he finished with 91 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery … ranked in the top 50 by ESPN … also received offers from Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky … father, John, was a two-time All-Big East and Sports Network All-America First Team performer playing for Hall of Fame coach Don Nehlen at West Virginia … had a 10-year NFL career with the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals.
Donavan Beaver OL 6-7 280 Massaponax HS Fredericksburg, VA
Played for coach Eric Ludden at Massaponax High School … two-time All-VHSL All-State … three-time All-5D Region, All-Commonwealth District First Team and Fredericksburg Free Lance Star All-Area selection … as a senior, he helped lead the Panthers to an 11-2 record and a spot in the state quarterfinals … part of an offense that ran for more than 4,400 yards, averaged 7.2 yards per carry, had 15 100-yard rushing performances, scored 54 rushing touchdowns and averaged 34.3 points per game … as a junior, the Panthers averaged 261.1 rushing yards per game, had four 100-yard rushing performances and scored 29 touchdowns … three-star rating by ESPN … No. 95 offensive tackle nationally ESPN … No. 22 prospect in Virginia by ESPN … also received offers from Florida, Louisville, Maryland, NC State, North Carolina, Pitt, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Isaiah Esdale WR 6-1 203 Eastern Arizona CC Elkton, MD
Transferred to West Virginia in August … saw action at receiver against Youngstown State during the 2018 season … played for coach John O’Meara at Eastern Arizona Community College …. teammate of current Mountaineers Joe and Michael Brown … helped lead the Monsters to an 8-4 record and a victory in the Salt City Bowl … finished with 10 catches for 319 yards, averaging 31.9 yards per catch and three touchdowns … also saw time on defense, finishing with two interceptions (both returned for touchdowns) and a pass breakup … had a 73-yard interception return for a touchdown against Las Cruces and an eight-yard interception returned for a score against Phoenix … had a season-high three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown against Arizona Western … two receptions for 66 yards and a touchdowns against Hutchinson in the Salt City Bowl … also had an 89-yard touchdown reception against Pima … played for Coach Dwayne Thomas at Eastern Christian Academy … earned Maryland All-State Second Team honors as a senior … teammate of current Mountaineer David Sills V … finished with 1,000 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns as a senior.
VanDarius Cowan LB 6-4 233 Alabama Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Transferred to West Virginia in August after playing as a freshman for Nick Saban at Alabama in 2017 … part of a Crimson Tide squad that finished 13-1 and won the national championship … saw action in seven games as an outside linebacker … earned his first career action against Tennessee and saw playing time against LSU, Mississippi State, Mercer, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia … recorded one quarterback hurry against LSU … totaled his first two career tackles in the win over Mercer … played for coach Rob Freeman at Palm Beach Gardens High … tabbed a Florida Class 8A All-State Third Team selection by the Associated Press in his senior season … selected to the Palm Beach Post Super 11 as a junior and senior … accumulated 104 tackles, including 13 for loss, with seven sacks and four forced fumbles as a junior for the Gators … rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN and No. 216 on ESPN 300 … No. 4 outside linebacker nationally by ESPN and No. 32 overall from Florida by ESPN … named to the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team as the No. 3 outside linebacker … participated in Nike’s The Opening … chose Alabama over Florida State, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Ole Miss and Oregon.
2019 PREFERRED WALKONS
Matthew Daniel K\P 5-11 175 Richmond Hill HS Richmond Hill, GA
Owen Chafin RB 5-10 190 Spring Valley HS Huntington, WV
Naim Muhammad CB 6-1 205 Fork Union MA Bowie, MD
Jayvon Thrift S 5-10 190 Norwin HS North Huntingdon, PA
Drew Joseph LB 5-9 205 South Charleston HS South Charleston, WV
Ben Gribble LB\FB 6-0 230 University HS Morgantown, WV
Evan Parow DB\WR 6-0 170 University HS Morgantown, WV