A: The plan, at least initially, was to continue efforts recruiting Landers. However, his primary recruiter, Shannon Dawson, eventually took a position with the University of Kentucky likely ending any efforts on that front.
The Mountaineers have also taken steps in another direction, recently offering Jacksonville (Fla.) defensive tackle Kahlil Welsh, who’s hoping to visit later this month.
Q: What are the chances of flipping Monaca (Pa.) cornerback Jordan Whitehead?
A: Much seemed lost when Whitehead chose the hometown Pitt Panthers over West Virginia. But, when Paul Chryst left to take the Wisconsin job many felt the Mountaineers were back in the game.
Whitehead has a close relationship with Tony Gibson and current Mountaineer Dravon Henry. However, it’s believed Whitehead chose Pitt because of his desire to stay close to home. While nothing is impossible until signing day I’d place the odds of a flip in his commitment slim.
Q: Can we expect any surprises on signing day?
A: Yes. For me, this is a simple answer. While recruiting coverage across many networks has increased over time, history proves a surprise will occur somewhere.
Q: Can you give a progress report on Dontae Angus and Yodney Cajuste?A: (Kevin Kinder) Angus settled in at nose and shows a good bit of promise. He has built on his performance in the Big 33 game, and has the ability to be a playmaker at the position. Of course, he's still just a redshirt freshman, but he could see some playing time this year. Cajuste, after some debate, landed at offensive tackle, where WVU definitely needs to upgrade its athleticism. It's likely too soon to predict a lot of playing time for him, but he does appear to have the quickness to play on the edge of the line.
Q: Any idea why WVU didn’t recruit a tight end this cycle?
A: (Jon) In the class of 2014 West Virginia targeted several tight end prospects that eventually signed elsewhere. This cycle, the Mountaineers went in a different direction. Morgantown (W.Va.) High Stone Wolfley is rated the nation's No. 11 tight end by Scout.com and could play the position at the next level. It remains to be seen if he sticks on the offensive side of the ball or switches over to defensive end.
(Kevin) Also, keep in mind that the TE/HBack position jstt ins't a big one in Dana Holgorsen's offense. With Cody Clay back and Elijah Wellman appearing set to man the spot after Clay's departure, there's not a big need to have another one in the program this year. I'd expect Wolfley to wind up on the offensive line, but as Jon points out, he does have options. He catches the ball well.
A: At one point during the 2014 recruiting cycle West Virginia held verbal commitments from five Miramar players – cornerback Tyrek Cole, wide receivers Jovon Durante and Kahlil Lewis, running back Alex Alderson and safety Kendrell McFadden. With less than a month from signing day that number has dwindled to three – Cole, Durante and Lewis.
Both Cole and Durante appear to be locks in the class. Lewis remains committed but scheduled official visits to both UCF and Louisville in the month of January. Both Anderson and McFadden are looking a various schools but could still wind up with the Mountaineers.
Depending on which direction the Mountaineers elect to go at the running back and wide receiver positions, there’s a strong feeling Cole and Durante are the lone Patriots who will sign.
Q: What possible surprises could we see on signing day?
A: West Virginia is trying to get involved with several prospects late in the game that could prove to be surprises.
Smith is committed to Arizona State and Wilson has verbally pledged his commitment to Georgia. Both prospects are working to set official visits to West Virginia and if that happens interest from both parties could escalate quickly.