Dear Santa,National Signing Day is right around the corner and our recruiting class is not yet complete. Since we have limited our couch burning this year and passed out pepperoni rolls to the less fortunate, we hope that we have made your "Nice List." Below is what we hope to get on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in order of most needed to least.Sincerely,Mountaineer Nation
A versatile running back: Currently, West Virginia has no commitments at the running back position, and could only take one in this class. With that in mind, the Mountaineers are aiming high, heavily pursuing Top247 back Donte Thomas-Williams out of Hillside (NC). He currently has WVU in his top two with Florida State. He has already visited Tallahassee, and says he will visit Morgantown on Jan. 24.
At the moment, I would consider WVU to be the favorite, considering he has already visited multiple times on his own dime and the Seminoles have several other targets, a couple of which are rumored to be ahead of "DTW."The Mountaineers are keeping tabs on a couple other targets at the position - including Miami commitment Joseph Yearby - but there is little doubt Thomas-Williams is the top name on the board.
Immediate help on the defensive line: WVU already holds commitments from Aliquippa, Pa., defensive tackle Jaleel Fields and Oviedo (FL) defensive end Tyree Owens, but there is still a need for more help. The Mountaineers were already lacking depth along the defensive front and lose two starters - Will Clarke and Shaq Rowell - to graduation.
New Mexico Military Institute defensive end Terry Ayeni is the top name on the board at the moment, and he has plans to visit Morgantown on Jan. 31 with a handful of current commitments. WVU is in his top three along with Northern Illinois and Arizona State.Seneca Valley, Md., defensive end Daniel Appouh is a late-riser on recruiting boards, picking up offers from Illinois, West Virginia and more in recent weeks. He says he will likely visit, but has not yet set up a date.
Junior-college prospect Kenderius Whitehead may be the most intriguing name to pop up late. He earned First-team Juco All-American honors this season and plays at Georgia Military College, the same junior college that produced current wide receiver Mario Alford and linebacker Brandon Golson.Of all the positions, this is the one I feel strongest that new names will emerge at in the coming weeks. Another playmaker (or two) at wideout: When Dana Holgorsen's offense is running at full tilt, there can never be enough wide receivers to catch the ball. With that in mind, West Virginia is still targeting several playmakers at the position.
Seabreeze's (Fla.) Charles Nelson has West Virginia in his top three along with Notre Dame and Southern Cal. He plans to visit Morgantown on Jan. 24. Fellow slot target C.J. Worton is committed to Florida State, but has been openly looking around, most notably to WVU and Central Florida. He is good friends with current commit Jacob McCrary and has already visited Morgantown.Outside receiver Trevion Thompson has WVU in his top group along with Ohio State, Clemson and North Carolina State. He plans to visit along with his Hillside, N.C., teammate, Donte Thomas-Williams, in January.Copiah-Lincolns' (Miss.) Darrion Hutcherson is the lone tight end target on the board and he has WVU in his top three along with Cincinnati and Mississippi State. He plans to visit the Bulldogs in mid-January and make a decision shortly after. More coverage in the secondary: If one thing WVU fans have learned, it's that one can never have enough pass defense in the Big 12. The coaches have continued to build depth by securing commitments from juco All-American Jaylon Myers, early enrollee juco Keishawn Richardson and Top247 prep star Dravon Henry.
The coaching staff is not done, though.Friendship Academy (D.C.) safety DaeJuan Funderburk has West Virginia in his top two with Miami and he plans to visit at some point next month. Meanwhile, Gulliver Prep's (Fla.) Cornelius Floyd has the Mountaineers in his top five along with Oklahoma, Virginia, Arkansas and UCF.Right now, I would pick Funderburk to be the most likely choice to finish out recruiting in the defensive backfield.