Neal and Smith join February signees Travis Garvin, Rayshawn Bolden, Chris Henry, J.T. Perry and Broderic Jones in an ultra-deep class. However, it's obvious that the Mountaineer coaches are hedging their bets by bringing in a couple of juco receivers, as the qualification saga for most of the underclassmen continues.
Of this group, only Garvin and Bolden appear to be qualified and ready to play in August. Jones and Perry are still awaiting test scores, while Henry likely won't have the necessary GPA to be eligible.
As a result, the WVU coaching staff, which has been looking for depth at the wide receiver position since day one, is covering all the bases by brining in two receivers who are expected to graduate and be ready to play immediately.
With 49 receptions for 780 yards and 11 touchdowns in 10 games this past season, Neal was the leading receiver not only at Ventura but also in the Western State Conference. A native of Oxnard, Calif., Aaron earned first-team honors among all the California junior colleges this past season.
Many Division I-A programs were interested in Neal, but he still had some academic work to do to become fully qualified as of the February signing date. Thus he slipped through the letter of intent without a scholarship. California and Northern Illinois stayed in close contact with Aaron, though, hoping he would become eligible. When he did so recently, both the Golden Bears and Huskies were quick to extend scholarship offers, but instead West Virginia swooped in and convinced Aaron to follow his fellow Ventura receiver to the Mountain State.