Final Pieces: Defensive Secondary

The West Virginia football coaching staff is preparing to host a handful of defensive backfield prospects early in 2014 that could pay immediate dividends next season.

Just a few days before National Signing Day, the West Virginia coaching staff will host a group of defensive backs they believe could provide help, and depth, to a unit in need.

WVU is already off to a great start with this unit. The Mountaineers were the recipient of a pleasant surprise when Northeast Oklahoma A&M cornerback Keishawn Richardson committed, and signed, with the Mountaineers on first day of the month-long signing period for mid-year enrollees. Add in juco commitment Jaylon Myers and high school standout Dravon Henry, and West Virginia will clearly have more competition at cornerback this fall. Still, though, the need for more players at pass coverage positions remains.

Miami (Fla.) three-star cornerback Cornelius Floyd recently confirmed with his intention to visit West Virginia on Jan. 24. The rangy, athletic corner is believed to have listed UCF as his favorite, though he publicly claims no leader.

In addition to that duo, he holds offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Oklahoma, and Pittsburgh, among others.

Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.) safety Daejuan Funderburk also plans to visit West Virginia. His trip is scheduled for Jan. 17. Earlier this month, Funderburk proclaimed both West Virginia and Miami were recruiting him the hardest. Funderburk, has already visited West Virginia unofficially, when the Mountaineers took on Texas. The atmosphere he encountered on that trip has led to positive reviews and the reasoning behind the return to campus.

"It's real live," he told Brian Dohn of "It's turned all the way up. Some of the fans even knew my name. It was crazy. I kind of have a fan base up there. That's cool."

The 6-foot, 185 pound Funderburk doesn't have an immediate timetable for a decision, as he states he'd still like to visit the Hurricane campus. However, a commitment to the Mountaineers wouldn't be surprising if another positive visit were to take place.

Junior college cornerback Kweishi Brown (Grossmont C.C., Calif.) is another prospect on the radar. Brown, an original Arkansas commit, boasts West Virginia, Arizona State and Nebraska as a group of three leading for his services.

The Mountaineers, though, don't appear to lead for his services. Brown recently spoke of Arizona State as his leader, though he still intends to take his visits. West Virginia's wish is to get him on campus, trying to sell the program. Unless that visit occurs, it's doubtful the Mountaineer could be a serious contender.

The most recent name thrown into the mix is New Smyrna Beach (Fla.) safety D'Cota Dixon, who hasn't had much involvement with West Virginia. However, he recently included the Mountaineers in his top five along with Wisconsin, Louisville, UCF and Michigan State. The belief is that the Badgers lead for his services.

While being selected in a prospects top group is a nice, getting him to visit is more influential in their decision. Until that occurs, the level of seriousness between Dixon and West Virginia in unclear.

Two other prospects with West Virginia interest are Pittsburgh (Pa.) athlete Harry Randall and Buford (Ga.)cornerback Tre Neal.

Randall, who projects as a cornerback, is currently in the process of setting up visit to a handful of schools, including West Virginia, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh.

Neal, who listed a top three on WVU, Miami and UCF in early October, plans to visit the Mountaineers in January. As with several of the other players on this list, getting him on campus will be the first step in boosting the Mountaineers' chances.

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