Two Days and Counting

Those close to the process describe the last hours before signing day as something akin to waiting for a baby to be delivered.

The anxiety, fretfulness and torture of waiting to see which signed letters of intent come humming out of the fax machine are among the most stressful times in a coach's career. So, which names can we expect to see on WVU's official list on Wednesday?

Of course, West Virginia fans are expecting to see all of the current verbal commitments on board, but that rarely happens. Players change their minds for a variety of reasons, and there are almost always some last minute defections.

Current verbals that the coaches and fans will anxiously be keeping their eyes on in this category include wide receiver Broderic Jones and safety Brandon Douglas, who previously committed elsewhere.

On the flip side of the coin are several players who are either still considering the Mountaineers at some level.

Two of those are immediate impact junior college defenders, Darel Slay of Holmes CC in Mississippi and linebacker Derrick Pope of Garden City Community College in Kansas. Slay has committed to South Carolina and Pope to Alabama, but a variety of circumstances have both still considering WVU. The chances could be as good as 50-50 that either or both will sign with WVU.

Other players still on the board include linebacker Marvin Mitchell of Norfolk, Virginia, who was visited in home by WVU coaches in the past week, defensive back Adam Jones of Atlanta, Georgia, and wide receiver Ed Jackson of Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.

Mitchell could possibly provide some immediate help at the thin linebacker position, while Jones, who reportedly had an excellent visit to the WVU campus, would provide help in the secondary.

Jackson, who is very impressed with West Virginia, could be the prize of the wide receiver class if he signs, as all of WVU's other high profile wide receiver commitments have eligiblity questions hanging over them.

Other names to keep an eye on include defensive back Jimmy Williams of Bethel, Virginia, linebacker Lance Liverman of Jacksonville, Florida, and junior college quarterback Charles Hales of Jones County JC.

Some players, such as Pope, may also to elect not to sign on Wednesday. The signing period begins on February 6, but runs through April 1. Therefore, it would not be surprising at all to see one or two players added to WVU's list after the rush of Wednesday's signings.

The uncertainty doesn't end even if most of these players sign with WVU on Wednesday. In fact, it's only beginning.

After the signings, we'll have to wait to find out who qualifies or graduates from junior college. At this point, as many as six or seven of the current verbals may be on shaky ground, which puts them (along with the coaches and fans) right back in the waiting seat for August to roll around.

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