WVU Football Recruiting Q & A

BlueGoldNews.com once again answers your recruiting questions surrounding West Virginia athletics. In this latest edition we look at possible quarterback options, defensive lineman needs, possible addition to hoops recruiting and more!

Q. Is West Virginia looking to add another quarterback in this class? If so, who?

A Jon: West Virginia appeared content with William Crest being the lone quarterback commit in the 2014 class, but recently made an offer to junior college standout Skyler Howard. The Mountaineers have also expressed interest in other avenues, most notably a preferred walk-on spot to other candidates. The most likely choice is Hubbard (Ohio) quarterback Brennan Wassil.

A Kevin: With quarterback play a serious issue heading into 2014, competition has to be increased. The Mountaineers need to get more than Crest in this year's class, as a look around the Big 12's other passing offenses reveals one commonality -- a number of QBs on the roster.

Q. Does West Virginia have a legitimate shot with guard JaQuan Lyle (Huntington Prep, WV?

A Jon: Lyle definitely has his choice of schools to choose from. With offers from WVU, Kansas, Oregon, Indiana and more is going to be tough for the Mountaineers to land him. However, Lyle was certainly impressed on his recent visit and relishes the possibility of immediate playing time. For now, though, I don't list the Mountaineers as a favorite to land his services.

A Kevin: WVU definitely has a chance here. Agreed with Jon that the competition is very difficult. But the Mountaineers have been on Lyle for a while, and there's more interest there than, say, that shown by Andrew Wiggins. I wouldn't call WVU the favorite either, but it is definitely not out of it.

Q. How many defensive lineman do we take in this class?

A Jon: The defensive line position is certainly an area of need, as the Mountaineers have only one pledge on the defensive front from Oviedo (FL) Tyree Owens. However, their failures at the position aren't for lack of trying.

West Virginia is in the mix for Anthony Clark and junior college lineman Jihad Ward, Joe Keels and Dalvon Stuckey. The latter three are scheduled to visit the Mountaineers in early December.

A Kevin: I would expect WVU to get three defensive linemen in this class. It has to replace stalwarts Shaq Rowell and Will Clarke, so it needs some immediate help. Prying Stuckey away from Auburn would be a major coup.

Q. How does the incoming recruiting class compare with the last three or four classes?

A Jon: The 2013 recruiting class doesn't differ much from previous classes. They've done an exceptional job at mixing recruits who can help immediately, and those who can help long term.

According to Scout.com rankings, West Virginia's recruiting classes have an average ranking of 36th in the country. Currently, the Mountaineers rank 50th -- but that number could certainly go up if they land a couple top prospects left on their board.

A Kevin: I always encourage readers to evaluate needs in a class, and not get stuck on star rankings. I think WVU is doing a decent job of meeting its 2014 needs, but it HAS to get another quarterback, another DL and another DB that can help immediately in order to make this class any better than those of the past couple of years.

Q. What does this class need to finish strong?

A Jon: West Virginia has a solid list of prospects currently committed. They've done an excellent job of identifying needs, and finding recruits who could potentially play immediately.

Now, the Mountaineers need to finish strong. They currently lead for a couple top-rated prospects in Aliquippa (Pa.) standouts Dravon Henry and Jaleel Fields, Durham (N.C.) four-star running back Donte Thomas-Williams, and are squarely in the mix for upper echelon junior college talent. If those pieces connect with the current puzzle put together West Virginia will add to a solid foundation for the future.

A Kevin: Combine Jon's list with my needs answer in the last question, and you have what is probably the best of all possible outcomes to this class. It's unrealistic to expect all those things to happen, but West Virginia really needs to connect on three or four of those players\positions to make an impact.

Q. Are we looking to bring in more offensive linemen, particularly a third from junior college?

A Jon: West Virginia currently has six offensive linemen committed, and adding a seventh may seem extreme. However, the coaching staff does indeed appear to be looking into the possibility.

The most likely candidate is Holmes (MS) C.C. Talbot Buys. The 6-foot-9, 300 pound Buys, visited the Mountaineers earlier this month for their game against Texas. That visit went well and WVU is exploring the idea of extending an offer. If one were received, a commitment could soon follow.

A Kevin: It does look now as if WVU won't add another lineman if all of its current commits hold true, but that can change with attrition on the current squad.

Q. What about Dravon Henry? Will he come to WVU? If so, when will he commit?

A Jon: West Virginia is believed to be the leader for Henry, and has been for sometime. Alabama has shown interest, though it's unclear how serious they are. Most recently, Maryland has tried to get in the picture. However, it appears the likelihood of them getting seriously involved is minimal -- at this point.

Throughout his entire recruiting process, Henry has stated a commitment would come around February.

A Kevin: This is clearly assistant coach Tony Gibson's top prospect this year, and he's built a great relationship with Henry -- that confirmation comes from the Aliquippa star himself. It's tough to wait it out, but WVU still looks to be in good shape.

Q. Can you provide an update on 2015 basketball prospects, who is favoring us, and who we're recruiting the hardest?

A Jon: The Mountaineers already have one commitment in the class of 2015, Huntington Prep (WV) center Levi Cook. However, they've extended numerous offers in the class.

The most sought after prospects are big men Carlton Bragg (Cleveland, Ohio) and Thomas Bryant (Huntington Prep, WV) and forwards Esa Ahmad (Shaker Heights, Ohio), K.J. Santos (Geneva, IL) and Karl Harris (Chicago, IL).

A Kevin: WVU is also looking at 6-10 center Josh Sharma, who runs the floor well.

Q. How many signees will WVU have in this class?

A Jon: Picking an exact number for a class is completely unpredictable. However, my best guess says the class will be between 18-21. Currently, West Virginia has fifteen commitments. That number will obviously rise, but I don't expect it to jump into the mid-twenties.

A Kevin: I'm going to stretch a little higher here. With the normal attrition that happens at the end of the semester, and given some of the statements about needing more depth, I think there might be a couple more openings than were expected. I'm going to guess at least 22.

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