Early Returns

West Virginia is set to sign handful of junior college prospects on Wednesday, which is the first day of the month-long signing period for mid-year enrollees.

The Mountaineers, who have five commitments from the junior college ranks, are prepared to receive signatures from three of those, and could see another make his choice and join its early Class of 2014.

One of the biggest attributes that West Virginia, and indeed many, Division I programs look for in junior college prospects is their ability to enroll in January. Those mid-year players can then take part in the school's off-season conditioning program, practice during the spring, and work out with their teammates over the remainder of the semester and summer before "official" workouts begin in August. That's obviously a huge advatange over fall enrollees, so it makes those early enrollees a valued commodity.

WVU has five verbal junior college commitments so far, and three of those told BlueGoldNews.com they were prepared to sign with the Mountaineers on Wednesday. We break down those prospects and their potential early impacts in the program.

Skyler Howard - Riverside College

Howard, who just recently committed to the Mountaineers in early December, will sign early Wednesday morning. The 6-0, 205-pound, quarterback, experienced significant success in his first season at Riverside College. He threw for 3,151 yards and 33 touchdowns while completing 67.4% of his passes. He threw just six interceptions. Howard will have four years to complete his three years of eligibility.

Edward Muldrow - Copiah-Lincoln C.C.

The athletic Muldrow, who gave his verbal commitment to West Virginia is mid-October, plans to sign with the Mountaineers sometime during the day. A 6-foot-4, 215-pound outside linebacker, he's expected to complete for immediate playing time next season by capitalizing on his speed and quickness. After originally signing with South Carolina out of high school, Muldrow has spent two years in the junior college ranks, finishing his career at Co-Lin. He has two years to complete his two seasons of eligibility.

Sylvester Townes - Coahoma C.C.

West Virginia, who received a commitment from Townes in September, held off both Kentucky and South Florida late in the recruiting process. Townes, who recently reaffirmed his commitment to WVU, is one of six offensive lineman committed in to class of 2014. His greater experience could help him battle for positioning along the line next season, which will have multiple positions open.

An uncommitted prospect who appears to be down to a final two choices could also bring a pleasant bump to WVU's recruiting haul.

Keishawn Richardson - N.E. Oklahoma A&M

Richardson is a latecomer to the recruiting process, but West Virginia made a strong impression on him when he visited the Mountaineer campus. It may be difficult to pry him away from Wisconsin, but WVU has a least a puncher's chance of landing a knockout Signing Day steal.

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