The coronavirus pandemic is affecting every aspect of life these days. People are quarantining themselves at home. Work and school have been turned upside down (or social to remote, if you will). Sports have been postponed or outright canceled.
Naturally, recruiting touches every one of these – from school to social activities to sports – and the NCAA put a temporary ban on all in-person contact between college coaches and recruits. That means no visits to campus, and no visits from coaches to high schools. That doesn’t mean the West Virginia University football coaches have taken the last couple weeks off, though. In fact, they’ve been quite busy.
The most immediate news from the past week was a new offer to graduate transfer offensive tackle Keldrick Wilson. The rising senior elected to transfer after starting last season as left tackle for Hampton University. He has received several Power 5 offers, with WVU being the most recent, although the Mountaineers were in touch with him even when he was in high school.
“I was happy,” he said. “The old staff recruited me out of high school, but went a different way because they said my film was too raw. My senior year was my first year playing tackle. Now, people can see what I can do.”
Wilson already officially visited Georgia State and Liberty before the ban on visits went into place, and says he will check out West Virginia and Indiana once it is lifted. Other programs have also been in touch and will vie for the fifth and final official visit.
Wilson could also take some unofficial visits, too, depending on when he’s allowed to get back on the road. He has at least one year of eligibility remaining but plans to petition the NCAA for a second due to a coaching change at his previous school.
The staff has also been busy with more traditional recruiting efforts, extending several offers in the Class of 2021. That includes Northwest Mississippi Community College defensive lineman Nijel McGriff. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound prospect was teammates with 2020 signee (and early enrollee) Quay Mays, who is “like a brother” to McGriff. He plans to officially visit in June and make a decision before the start of his season. He, too, plans to enroll early and will have three-and-a-half years to play two seasons.
Venice (Florida) tight end Weston Wolff also claimed an offer from the staff. The 247Sports three-star recruit is no stranger to the Mountaineers or Morgantown. The 2021 recruit first showed up to campus two summers ago, working out for the staff after finishing his freshman year in high school. He followed up with another camp visit last summer, finally catching the coaches’ attention. The staff told him he still needed to put on some weight to be offer-worthy and he did just that. And tight ends coach Travis Trickett followed through with the scholarship offer. Wolff will be back on campus in a couple months for the third summer in a row.
As strange as this coronavirus has made everyday life, some aspects of recruiting are staying the same. The WVU coaching staff is still working hard to build the future of the program and connecting with prospects as much as possible during these trying times.