West Virginia hoped to use the final weekend of the summer before the start of its preseason practice to put a boost in recruiting, and if the numbers were any indication, that effort was a success.
In an unprecedented one-day showing, seven current Mountaineer football verbals worked out under mostly sunny skies on Saturday. Hodari Christian, Deshawn Coleman, Darrien Howard, Marcell Lazard, Chavas Rawlins, Elijah Wellman and Zaire Williams all showed their abilities again, although that certainly wasn't necessary, at least for the coaches, The group quickly bonded with each other, meeting and greeting before the stretch period at the start of camp, then competing aggressively throughout the afternoon. The competition was strenuous enough that a few players, including Howard, had to sit out portions of the drills due to strains and pains, but that did nothing to diminish the day.
Scenes and Notes:
Assistant coach Robert Gillespie gathered his running back commitments together after the camp for a spirited talk. Wellman, Coleman and Williams all huddled with arms around each other as Gillespie delivered the first of what will be many motivations talks to his players.
Wellman continued to impress with his footwork. Th solid fullback moved smoothly through agility drills -- a skill that should allow him to get to opposing defenders for blocks.
Rawlins has clearly been working on his delivery, and showed some nice passes during individual work. He still has a few passes that fluttered when coming off his hand, but his progression since his last camp in June is noticeable.
Christian is a complete package at linebacker. While he's not as big as the massive Howard, he moves well, is well-defined and looks to have the ability to cover a good bit of ground. He and Howard were leaders of the linebacking group.
Coleman's moves coming in and out of cuts were very impressive. He doesn't waste any steps, and gets a foot down, plants and pushes off with excellent burst when changing directions.
Williams, who was somewhat banged up at his last appearance at WVU (during 7-on-7 camp), but showed no ill effects from those dings. He ran very smoothly through drills and appeared to be in excellent shape heading into his senior season.
Lazard's kick and backpedal are impressive for a lineman his size. They should be good building blocks for pass protection in college.
Howard's size and speed continue to impress. He's at least 240 pounds, but moves like an outside 'backer. He was well out in front of the other 15 players in his 40 yard dash group.
Assistant coach Joe DeForest worked the defensive backs very aggressively during position drills. He put the 30-some safeties in attendance through various pass drops and change of direction work.
Commitment Tyler Tezeno is enroute to WVU's campus and expected to work out tomorrow.