There are still almost six months to go until National Signing Day, but West Virginia is approaching full capacity for the Class of 2015.
There are 16 scholarship seniors set to graduate in the spring, so even with a couple of 2014 recruits up in the air eligibility-wise, and the usual offseason attrition, there may only be a handful of spots open in this class.
Where are those open spots allotted, though? They could come at virtually any position. Only quarterback would be considered “full” with pledges from Eastern Christian (Md.) Academy’s David Sills and Chris Chugunov of Montgomery, N.J., both of whom are enrolling early. Even still, Boynton Beach (Fla.) quarterback Lamar Jackson, who holds offers from Nebraska, Louisville, Auburn and more, says that the competition wouldn’t scare him off, and that he still wants to visit Morgantown.
With Alex Anderson (Miramar, Fla.) and William Cameron (Southern Durham, N.C.) already on board, West Virginia could very well call it a day at running back, but the staff is still keeping spots available for a couple of elite targets — Garner (NC) all-purpose back Nyheim Hines and Westminster Christian School (Fla.) teammates Tim Irvin and Jordan Cronkrite. All three plan to officially visit this fall.
West Virginia’s wide receiver recruiting is wide open. Kahlil Lewis and Jovon Durante have been committed for months, but both are still being courted by the likes of Ohio State, Auburn, Alabama and Miami, and intend to take visits. Tavares Martin (Dwyer, Fla.) has the Mountaineers at the top of his extensive list, while Indian Rocks Christian (Fla.) wideout Damian King and Colonial Forge (Va.) stud Gary Jennings both have WVU in their top groups.
The situation on the offensive line is similar to running back — could be done, but would like to take one more. The most likely candidate to fill the fourth spot for West Virginia is the same man who signed with the Mountaineers last year, Eastern Christian Academy lineman Jamie Herr. Once a 2014 recruit, Herr reclassified to 2015 due to some academic concerns and will be enrolling early this season. He has WVU at the top of his list, one that now includes Michigan State, Florida State and more.
Defensive line has two spots filled ... but it may only be one. Morgantown’s Stone Wolfley says that at the most recent WVU camp he worked exclusively at tight end and may end up there next fall, rather than defensive end. If so, that leaves only Oviedo (Fla.) defensive tackle Alec Shriner. Not to worry, though — high schoolers Amir Ealey and Reuben Jones and JUCO pass rusher Larry Jefferson all have WVU in their top groups and plan to visit.
At linebacker, the plan coming into this class was that it would always be a small group. In fact, several targets commented on how the staff plans to only take one. The most likely candidate to fill that spot is David Long of Winton Woods, Ohio, who has visited already and plans to come back for the Oklahoma game. Even he could be viewed more as a spur candidate, though.
Finally, there’s defensive back, where West Virginia could have as many as five commitments (depending on where Jordan and Jacquez Adams end up). The staff could take as many as two more, with Jordan Whitehead (Central Valley, Va.), Tyson Cisrow (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fla.), Khalid McGee (Northwestern, Fla.) and Sheldrick Redwine (Miami Killian, Fla.) all with WVU as finalists. That’s not to mention junior college target Rasul Douglas, who plans to visit Morgantown this fall and recently received his official offer.
Space may be limited, but if there’s one thing that’s always true in recruiting, it’s that there is fluidity to every situation. With more attrition, or if none of the 2014 kids in limbo make it in, West Virginia would have more space in this class. Either way, there’s plenty to follow with Mountaineer recruiting over the final few months.
Chris Anderson is a full-time writer for eersports.com.