Planting Recruiting Seeds - Part Two

Part Two of our story on the Texas football recruiting pipeline looks at some of the individuals in this year's class and talks more with assistant coach Todd Graham about the type of players that he is looking for.

Part one of this story is available here.

Broderic Jones, a 6-0, 170-pound wideout, is Texas' all-time leading scorer. He was allstate twice and caught 30 touchdowns, an average of almost two per game. His 55 career TD receptions are more than any other player to ever pull on a helmet in Texas. And the Lone Star State has certainly produced a couple other decent receivers over the years.

J. T. Perry, 6-2, 200 pounds, was rated as the secondbest receiver in Texas his junior season, before a school-related personal problem – at Allen High there is a zero tolerance policy that calls for immediate dismissal from athletics for a violation of rules – kept him from playing his last year. Several recruiting websites rated him a two-star player.

"They will be embarrassed when he starts playing," Graham said. "He is a four or five star, for sure.

He won several games for me in the last minutes." Four, to be exact, in his junior year, to go with 1,672 yards and 18 scores on 82 catches. Williams, a 5-10, 160-pound three-sport star, is a speedy all-state safety who had six interceptions this season.

Henry, a 6-2, 215-pound linebacker, had 100 tackles and 11 sacks as a senior and 117 tackles and 12 sacks as a junior.

The four come from winning programs as well. Jenks High, Henry's school, has legendary status in Oklahoma. It went 40-1 during Henry's three seasons and has now won six straight Class 6A state championships.

Jones won back-to-back state titles his last two years, when the Lions went a combined 30-2. Allen High has a solid program that routinely wins district titles, and Williams' Mesquite Skeeters went 15-0 last year and won the Class 5A championship.

It's something for which Graham looks.

"We look for players who have been in good programs, guys who have won and know what that's like, and guys who have played at a high level," Graham said. "If we got a team of 85 guys and half played for state titles, then we have guys who know how to win and have great work ethic. You don't win, especially in Texas, without great work, playmakers and team guys. They have been in big games. It's about experience, and those kids are more ready to be here, to make that play to beat Miami or Syracuse or whoever."

It's about desire, according to Graham. If the Mountaineers don't try to land a recruit and don't think they can, it would never happen.

"It's about the kind of parameters you want to put on yourself," Graham said.

"Our major Texas obstacles are the 1,200 miles and competing with other major teams. But recruiting is about building a relationship. If you say you have no chance to compete, then you never will. We get three kids a year, and it is worth the effort.

"This is a blossoming program with energy and enthusiasm. You have to work hard and show you care about them.

"Do I think it is hard to sell WVU? No, we have some of best facilities in the country, we have things going, we are a program on the rise and a very modern program. By that I mean our offensive style will attract skill players and quarterbacks. Players from everywhere want to play in Coach Rodriguez's offense and our attacking defense. Man, there's not but two or three people in the country running that odd stack (WVU's new defensive scheme). Players want to be a part of it.

"But the main thing, the No. 1 thing that sells it, is Coach Rodriguez. That is why I moved my family 1,200 miles to live here. I had other opportunities. But I feel good about who we got out of there and what we are doing here. And I think we can continue to sell it."

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