Mountaineers’ October Recruiting Update
As we move into the second-third of the 2019 college football season, West Virginia continues to focus on improving both on and off the field. The coaching staff is also looking to add several bodies to its 2020 recruiting class. We provide the Mountaineers’ October recruiting update.
We last provided a recruiting update over the Summer. Since that time, Neal Brown and his staff added three additional commitments. Below, we list the recruits with their rankings from the three top recruiting services.
Because of the coaching change, West Virginia lost time in this recruiting cycle. That said, the class looks relatively strong early. The staff is filling some positions of need. In particular, the four-star Mayo, and big-bodied Gamble could offer immediate help to the offensive line.
As of our mid-fall recruiting update last season, the Mountaineers had eighteen commitments (versus thirteen presently), but seven of those eighteen dropped from the class. In terms of star power, West Virginia had, at that time, four blue-chip prospects (versus three presently).
Determining where West Virginia goes from here requires a look at the makeup of its current roster. These figures, of course, assume there is no attrition due to early draft declarations or outbound transfers. That is, of course, unrealistic.
West Virginia currently has four quarterbacks on its roster. All have continued eligibility after the 2019 season. The Mountaineers will graduate two running backs, with five currently on scholarship. West Virginia has three tight ends, losing none to expired eligibility. Two offensive linemen are set to graduate, with eleven currently on scholarship. Three defensive linemen lose eligibility after this season, with a total of ten on scholarship now. West Virginia will lose three linebackers (including players filling the hybrid bandit role), with ten on scholarship presently. The Mountaineers will lose three safeties (including players suited for the hybrid spear position), with eleven on scholarship at present. Finally, the Mountaineers will lose two cornerbacks, with seven currently on scholarship.
The Mountaineers currently fill 80 of their 85 allotted scholarships, and Brown has warned that it may take a few years to increase the number to the cap. The Mountaineers have a total of 23 scholarship slots available from the annual cap of 25. Because they lose eighteen to expired eligibility after this season, they could complete their roster by taking the maximum number of scholarship available. Again, however, this assumes zero attrition beyond graduating players.
The Mountaineers presently hold commitments from one quarterback, two wide receivers, one tight end, two offensive linemen, three defensive linemen, two linebackers, and two cornerbacks. As a result, the Mountaineers add one body to the quarterback room, and the staff has no plans to add another. Fans can assume that the Mountaineers will lose one current quarterback to the transfer market. West Virginia adds two wide receivers, despite losing only one to eligibility. Similarly, West Virginia also adds one tight end, despite losing zero to eligibility. On defense, the current commitments replace all three graduating defensive lineman, two of the three linebackers, and both graduating cornerbacks.
As the Mountaineers have thirteen current commitments, they have ten scholarships left to assign. Because of the uncertainty of the transfer market, fans should expect Brown to hold one or two of those scholarships beyond National Signing Day. As a result, Brown looks to add eight more commitments between now and February.
From a positional standpoint, West Virginia needs to add at least one linebacker, and three safeties to “break even” on its graduating seniors. And while the Mountaineers lose two running backs this spring, they are likely to add only one since they currently have five on scholarship. Similarly, because of the sheer number of safeties on the roster, the Mountaineers might only add two. Beyond those positions, the Mountaineers would certainly like to add another wide receiver, one or two more offensive linemen, a linebacker, and a defensive lineman.
While the Mountaineers have certainly offered plenty of players to fill these roles, there are some key names to watch out for as the cycle comes to a close. For the safety position, Osita Smith remains a target. Smith still refers to Morgantown as “home” in recent tweets. If he resolves any remaining eligibility issues in one year of Junior College, expect West Virginia to stay involved. The additional of his four-star talent, with an added year of maturity, would certainly benefit the Mountaineers.
For running back, West Virginia continues to focus on four-star Lamy Constant. Constant currently names the Mountaineers in his top four, and West Virginia figures heavily into his decision.
Beyond Blessed… pic.twitter.com/teCPX0XgfC
— Lamy S. Constant (@ConstantLamy20) June 24, 2019
Over the bye weekend, Brown also attended Bluefield’s Friday-night game. In-state stud Sean Martin plays there, and Brown and staff remain heavily involved. While Martin initially committed to North Carolina, he has since withdrawn that pledge. Martin plays on the defensive line.
Finally, West Virginia offered four-star offensive tackle Ty’kieast Crawford. While Crawford committed to Arkansas as a junior, he announced an offer from the Mountaineers on social media.
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