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Penn State Going Deep Football

Former Penn State receiver Juwan Johnson (84) is a graduate transfer who took a visit to WVU this past weekend.

West Virginia University’s football program had its biggest recruiting weekend of the offseason this past weekend, as nearly a dozen top recruits made their way to Morgantown to meet with the new staff.

Nine of those players had already signed with the Mountaineers, taking advantage of a new NCAA rule that allows recruits to take a second official visit to the same school if there is a head coaching change. As it turns out, that was a welcomed visit for all involved, as they used the opportunity to bond with their new coaching staff and see how they fit in with the new schemes.

“I love the new coaching staff,” said Savannah [Georgia[ Memorial Day wide receiver Winston Wright. “It’s more energy and more of a family-feel environment. I feel like this visit was my best visit back home. I learned a lot, did a lot, and it just felt more like family.”

That’s one heck of a ringing endorsement coming from Wright. The 247Sports three-star prospect signed with West Virginia back in December but, upon hearing about Dana Holgorsen’s imminent departure, said he would likely open up his recruitment. He did not, agreeing to check things out in Morgantown first, before then confirming his commitment to the Mountaineers.

The other eight signees in attendance – defensive backs Tykee Smith, Osita Smith, and Nicktroy Fortune; offensive lineman Parker Moorer, linebacker Jared Bartlett, running back Tony Mathis, and wide receiver Terence Doston – all felt the same way, each raving about the trip and the newfound energy with coach Neal Brown and his staff.

As for the three uncommitted recruits, the Mountaineers could be on the verge of adding to the class. The coaching staff – and several signees – hinted at two new commitments, although none of the three uncommitted recruits were ready to admit publicly they were part of the class.

Cornerback Tavian Mayo is certainly someone to watch. The Georgia athlete visited in December with the other commits, and returned again with the commits, although he says he is still open to other choices. He has also visited North Carolina, Iowa State and Nebraska, and will announce his decision on signing day Feb. 6.

Defensive lineman Jordan Jefferson has a similar plan. He called his visit to Morgantown “perfect,” but says he would still like to visit Kansas State and Louisville before signing next Wednesday. The staff offered him when they were at Troy, and their persistence in recruiting him after they came to WVU could pay off with a signature.

The final uncommitted prospect on campus was no high schooler at all. It was Penn State graduate transfer receiver Juwan Johnson. The former four-star, Top247 recruit started 20 games over the last two seasons, but chose to finish out his eligibility elsewhere. He’s considering WVU, Oregon, and Kentucky, and could take a fourth visit this upcoming weekend. He, too, does not plan to make a decision until signing day.

It was a very eventful weekend for West Virginia, although the fruits of that labor may not be felt until Feb. 6.