I was talking to someone last night about the recruiting class, as though I was some sort of expert, which is frankly silly because I can think of a few people who are infinitely more qualified than me to hold that title. And I assure you I insult in kind when people ask me my thoughts. Go ask that ficus.
Anyhow, the question was, “How would you describe it?” and my answer, with some thought, was “Big.”
WVU has, as we’ve covered, a big roster.
WVU took some big shots, won some big names and had some big misses.
“That’s part of recruiting,” WVU running backs coach JaJuan Seider said. “We’re not going to take a backseat to nobody. We’re going to recruit the best players. When you battle for the best players, you’re going to come up short sometimes. You’re also going to win some of those battles.
“It was a 50-50 deal at the end,” he added. “All you can do is ask for an opportunity.”
WVU landed a number of kids from Ohio and also Florida, which signifies its big footprint.
WVU made a big admission by saying the focus isn’t as strong on the southwest as it was before.
WVU signed some big offensive and defensive linemen, which were big needs.
The defensive line got added boosts from a pair of safety coach Joe DeForest’s signings from the Orlando, Fla., area: 6-5, 250-pound Adam Shuler, who missed most of his senior season due to injury, and 6-3, 280-pound Alec Shriner.
Shriner is one of Florida’s top wrestlers and a favorite to win a state title. He was named most outstanding offensive lineman at WVU’s camp over the summer and then earned Class 8A first-team all-state on the defensive line.
“You want that nose guard to be able to work with his hands like a wrestler does and control his body,” DeForest said. “The guys here compare him to Chris Neild — that type of body. He’s not that type of player yet. But he’s going to be 320 pounds and he’s a flat-belly kid.”
WVU secured big receivers and big cornerbacks, which are big pluses in the Big 12.
“It’s a start,” WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. “Those guys have physically got to be able to hold up. That’s why getting Gary was important to us. Physically, he’s impressive. Having those though guys who are big and can hold up and also have the ability to make plays, that’s something that’s pretty important.”
Those names probably aren’t the most-celebrated prospects in the recruiting class. Not surprisingly, the picks there happen to play receiver and cornerback in Miramar (Fla.) High teammates Jovon Durante and Tyrek Cole. Each was graded by multiple scouting services as a four-star player and among the nation’s top 50 players at his position.
Yet Holgorsen had the same reservations for the 5-10, 160 Cole and the 6-1, 160 Durante.
“Jovon’s as fluid and twitchy as I’ve seen,” Holgorsen said. “I don’t know if he’s game ready yet, and I told him this. He needs to get ready and gain weight and lift weights. Tyrek’s the same way. He’s a huge talent, he’s got great feet, he can cover and make plays. Is he game ready? I don’t know.”