Christian Ford (Photo by Chad Simmons)

Updates from West Virginia summer camps

The inside scoop from WVU's first day of prospect camp.

West Virginia held the first of four straight one-day prospect camps on Monday, and there was plenty of action in Morgantown as roughly 120 campers took part in the activities. Some running thoughts on the event, including top performers and recruiting notes....

------- The focus at the quarterback position centered around a trio of signal callers - 2018 prospects Jagger LaRoe and Qadir Ismail as well as 2019 recruit Austin Brown. LaRoe hails from Texas and excels in a similar air-raid/run-pass option type offense in high school. He came up to campus because of the staff's history of success with quarterbacks in this system, and he showed well during drills. He spent plenty of time with offensive coordinator Jake Spavital prior to camp. Ismail is a very tall and lean prospect, but he has a very strong arm. He throws a tight spiral, but the accuracy was a bit erratic at times. Most impressively, he clocked a 4.7 40-yard dash while standing 6-foot-7. Brown was not as physically as impressive as the two 2018 quarterbacks, but he slung the ball as well as anyone there. He connected very well during one-on-ones, and got some extra attention from Spavital toward the end of the camp. He says he may come back for another camp in July.

------- Christian Ford was the big name at receiver coming into the camp. He certainly showed why he has numerous offers out of Roswell (GA). He could get open against any defensive backs up there, but did have a few drops. "It happens," he admitted. He's sticking around campus until tomorrow, hanging with the coaches and players tonight. I still feel very good about my Crystal Ball pick, if he's a take this early.

------- Out of all the wide receivers, maybe the most impressive was Nate Goralski. He's 5-foot-8, so the ceiling isn't that high for him, but he just did whatever he wanted during one-on-ones. He got open against the best defensive backs on the field and made some of the best catches of the day. His technique was flawless and - as Tyron Carrier put it - he took what he learned in drills and put it to use on the field. Both Carrier and Spavital were gushing about his play.

------- Out of all the big guys at the camp, a pair of Europeans stood out the most. Offensive lineman Lukas Bockay won the award for "First Off the Bus." He stands at 6-foot-8 and weighs 270 pounds. His legs are about as big as some of the receivers waists and it doesn't look like he has an ounce of fat on him. However, he's as stiff as a board and was having a rough time in one-on-ones. Noah Nelson may be the guy to really keep an eye on. He is 6-foot-6 and about 240 or 250 pounds (eyeballing estimate there). He's solid as a rock, but he can also move. He was very fluid in the hips, and defensive line coach Bruce Tall pulled aside one of the grad assistants for more information on him before stretching was even done.

------- On defense, Noah Smith out of Lansing (MI) Everett looked pretty good. However, his style - aggressive and physical - did not fit the no-pads, no-tackling situation of this camp. He was often caught holding on defense in one-on-ones, but he's got all the attributes of a great safety.

The true star of the defense, though, was 2019 defensive back Myles Bell. His father, Grantis Bell, was a receiver for the Mountaineers from 1985-1988. The whole family made the trip up from south Florida and Bell put on an absolute show. He spent some time with Tony Gibson prior to camp, and looked solid in drills. However, it was one-on-ones where he took things to another level entirely. He must have broken up a dozen passes, and the only real knock the coaches could come up with was he needed to catch the ball for a pick. It is very easy to see why he has multiple offers already, and I'd be stunned if WVU did not offer soon.

Note: There will be more updates on kids in the coming days. Many good players I need to place a name with their face and number and I will hear from them after I put up the photo gallery. I'm talking about you, wide receiver No. 115.


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