Reviewing WVU’s Recruiting Haul
In our first review of West Virginia’s 2022 recruiting class, we observed significant early momentum. Things looked promising on the recruiting trail for Head Coach Neal Brown and staff. Outside of a trio of late withdrawals from the class, the staff held the class together well. Indeed, they even added three blue chips to the class in the waning weeks. Now that Early Signing Day has passed, we are reviewing WVU’s recruiting haul.
WVU Filling Needs
Before we look at the quality of the class in terms of star ratings, we look at how well the class aligns with the Mountaineers’ needs. As we see it, based on who is graduating this or next year and who has decided to transfer, West Virginia’s areas of need can be ranked as follows.
First, the Mountaineers clearly need bodies and depth in the secondary. Perhaps no single area has seen more attrition over the last several years that this area. West Virginia hit this area hard. So far, they have added five bodies to the room. We expect that they may even add another two through the late recruiting cycle and the transfer portal. Here, they landed Hershey McLaurin, an immediate-impact junior college transfer at safety. They also add blue chip Jacolby Spells at cornerback. They also add a pair of severely underrated recruits in Christion Stokes (S) and Mumu Bin-Wahad (CB). For good measure, they also brought on Tyrin Woodby at safety.
Next, the Mountaineers needed an immediate impact linebacker and a few more guys who can compete. They landed both. Junior college transfer Lee Kpogba was raw but extremely talented coming out of high school. He nearly committed early in the process, but he ended up taking a circuitous route to Morgantown. Now, with two years of experience, he brings game-changing talent to the linebacker room. The Mountaineers also add ESPN four-star Travious Lathan and Philadelphia linebacker Raleigh Collins to the room.
Finally, West Virginia always needs more bodies on the offensive line. In this cycle, they added four. Coupled with the returning veteran talent, these players should give the staff plenty to work with going forward.
Reviewing the Class
As we usually do, we provide a breakdown of the entire class. The chart below shows each player currently signed or committed. We include high school players, junior college transfers, and Division I transfers as well. Division I transfers have an asterisk next to their name. For each player, we identify his ranking for each respective scouting service, his anticipated position, and his state (or school).
|Lee Kpogba||LB||MS (JuCo)||4||3||3|
|Hershey McLaurin||S||MS (JuCo)||4||3||3|
|Jeremiah Aaron||WR||TX (JuCo)||3||N/A||3|
Reviewing the Haul
In reviewing WVU’s recruiting haul, we first take note that the Mountaineers add seven players that were rated four-stars or higher by at least one recruiting service. That represents nearly 32% of the Mountaineers’ 22 total recruits in the class.
Rivals ranks the class at number 22 in the nation. 247Sports ranks the class at number 32 in the nation, though one signee (Aaron) hasn’t yet received a rating. Using Rivals rankings, WVU fielded just two top-25 classes since the start of the modern recruiting era in 2001. Its previous high ranking was 23rd in 2007. Assuming the class holds it ranking through the conclusion of the late signing period, the 2022 class represents the highest-ranked class on the Rivals service for West Virginia since 2001. At 32nd on 247Sports, the class finished tied for fourth on that service. As of now, it is the highest-ranked class by 247 since 2013.
Significantly, the Mountaineers still have ten scholarships remaining. We expect they would add the full lot through late high school transfers, junior college transfers, and the transfer portal. Positions of need, as of now, include one wide receiver, one to two defensive tackles, another defensive end, one to two linebackers, another cornerback, and at least one more safety. Beyond that, the staff has room to maneuver. Some would argue, of course, that West Virginia could also use an immediate-impact quarterback to transition between Jarret Doege and the younger quarterbacks in the room. We doubt that Brown would pass on the right fit.