News, notes and observations from the announcement of West Virginia's 2012 football recruiting class.
The class includes 26 players, 14 on offense and 12 on defense. Five of those players are already enrolled at WVU. It includes players from seven different states, including Florida (11), Ohio (4), Texas (4), Maryland (3), New Jersey (2), Minnesota (1) and Pennsylvania (1).
The numbers from Texas might grow slightly in future years, but not wildly so. WVU will still recruit its traditional areas. Head coach Dana Holgorsen said he is excited about the balance in the class.
As of this moment, WVU has 61 players on scholarship, which includes the five January enrollees. Add in the 21 on today's list and that is 83 out of the maximum allowable 85 on scholarship. Eric Kinsey, who announces at seven p.m. and is a strong WVU lean, would make 84. Holgorsen said he is always looking for more players, so another could be added.
Going to the Big 12 had an effect on recruiting. Holgorsen said WVU went after a few more edge rushers, given the passing nature of that league and WVU's move to a 3-4 defense. "We want to get some guys that can gain wait and rush off the edge, and maybe be defensive ends."
Not having a full staff hurt WVU "a little bit" according to Holgorsen. He pointed out that this is the second year in a row WVU has recruited without a full staff. Emphasized he was not making excuses, but that was the reality. Noted that holdover coaches did a good job in splitting up the recruits and working with them, and that Joe DeForest with his recruiting background did a great job. "He got in front of a lot of defensive guys," Holgorsen said.
As the faxes rolled in, the coaches not only watched them but also eyeballed 2013 video. Work on that class, already in its preliminary stages, begins today.
Holgorsen joked that "I can assure you that I won't be installing the defense. I have enough on my plate with the offense." It will be some form of a 3-4, but that covers a lot of ground. The most important job for Holgorsen? Establishing team unity on the 2012 squad. "That's more important than any other facet of football."
This next should be a permanent note every year. No redshirt decisions are being made now. "We make those about a week before the first game, just like last year," Holgorsen said.
Overall Holgorsen said the ability of the class to hit stands out. Sees a lot of that on film.
Ford Childress: "Big tall guy. In a passing offense the last three years. Understands WVU offensively
Sean Walters: "Tall lean safety who didn't play his junior year. Rangy, covers ground well. Could gain weight and move down to outside backer.
Jordan Thompson: "A slot receiver, a little guy who plays in a winning program. If he learns the offense he can help."
Karl Joseph: "A safety who is doing a great job in the weight room. He can hit you. Should adjust quickly."
Christian Brown: "Played one year in New Jersey after moving up from Florida, where he played well. He's a big body, you can't have enough of those."
Roshard Burney: "He rushed for 2000 yards in high school and not many guys do that. He runs on his toes. He can run you over you, or he can bounce off you and get away."
Torry Clayton: "He's another Florida running back. He's kind of like Roshard more than like Buie or Garrison. He's a power guy who gives us strength in the backfield."
Travares Copeland: "He has great feet., more along the lines of a slot receiver. He runs really well."
KJ Dillon: "He's a safety, was a two-way player in high school. He's long, lean and can run. He'll strike you. He can cover a lot of ground."
Mark Glowinski: "Our only junior college player. He gained 50 lbs from when he was in high school He's very physical and has great feet. Plays with an attitude."
Jarrod Harper: "Our first commit and our most solid one. He was at every game, and no one wants to be at WVU more than him. He played a lot of running back in high school. He'll be a safety here."
Korey Harris: "He's a defensive end who will develop into a big guy. He's 6-4 and 230 pounds now. It's crucial for us to have guys to rush the passer, and he can be one of those edge rushers."
Garrett Hope: "He comes from a tremendous program that wins a lot of games. He's a winner. He played outside linebacker in high school."
Will Johnson: "He came to one of our practices and watched how we used Tyler Urban. He can really move. He's another guy we watched on the basketball court."
Dee Joyner: "Dee came to Miami after playing in Georgia. On film as a junior we love how he got in and out of cuts. He's a playmaker, and a return guy."
Nana Kyeremeh: "He might be the fastest guy in the class. He did everything for Apopka. He played corner and safety, rushed kicks, and he was great at it. He could play anywhere."
Sam Lebbie: "He had about 16,000 tackles during his career. He looks great, and we look forward to seeing how he develops."
Devonte Mathis: "He was an instrumental part of Miramar's team. He played a lot of different positions. We want guys with this kind of body type. He'll start out as a safety."
Tony Matteo: "He came to four or five of our camps and games, and was solid form the beginning. He's a smart kid, and could be a center or guard."
Tyler Orlosky: "Similar to Coach Bedenbaugh, he likes to play football, lift, go home and sleep and then get up and do it again. His work ethic is unbelievable. The more of these guys we have the better."
Deontay McManus: "Physically he is ready to play right now. We have to teach him what to do so he can get out there."
Brandon Napoleon: "He could play on either side of ball. We'll start him out at cornerback."
Noble Nwachuku: "He's only played a few years. He's an outside linebacker type coming off the ball and rushing the passer."
Adam Pankey: "We wanted four offensive linemen and Pankey got us there. We are excited with them. He's enormous, but he runs runs up and down the basketball court throwing elbow and changing directions"
Devonte Robinson: "He's taller than the 6-1 he's listed. He makes a ton of plays. He's 6-2 maybe 6-3 now. He is an outside guy – those taller, leaner guys we stick out wide. He can get downfield."