There are three sides to the ball. It’s every head coach’s favorite expression. Special teams is just as important as offense and defense when it comes to success on the football field. If coaches believe that – and they should – then the same holds true for recruiting, and the Mountaineers are kicking it right through the uprights.
West Virginia got the ball rolling back in June when they nabbed a preferred walk-on commitment from Fort Hill High School (Cumberland, Maryland) specialist Danny King. He’s a versatile prospect that visited Morgantown numerous times. He showed up for a Junior Day in the winter, returned a couple times in the spring and even played quarterback for his high school team in the 7-on-7 tournament at WVU.
“The positive energy and the commitment that the coaches have towards the program and players stand out,” King said about his love for the program.
King could slide in to any of the special teams spots. He’s ranked as the No. 2 kicker and the No. 5 punter in the class of 2020 by Kornblue Kicking. He received interest from Oklahoma State, NC State and many others.
The following month, the Mountaineers added another specialist in Bluefield’s Kaulin Parris. The all-state performer chose West Virginia over Virginia Tech, Virginia and several more programs.
“I committed there because it truly felt like home,” Parris said. “I prayed for days about it and I feel like it is the best place for me. I can’t wait to get up to Morgantown and compete with the best.”
King and Parris should be able to fill both the kicker and punter role, leaving a spot open for a long snapper. The Mountaineers – led by graduate assistant Mike Molina and senior analyst Tyler Hancock – have apparently narrowed their focus on The John Carroll School (Bel Air, Maryland) star Austin Brinkman. The 6-foot-4 prospect visited for camp in June and worked out with the tight ends before stepping to the side to show off his long snapping skills. He returned last week for a follow up trip.
“I don’t think the day could have been better,” he said. “My family and I got a chance to sit down and talk with the academic adviser, which was a great opportunity for us to hear what WVU offers outside of football.”
Brinkman’s recruitment is still open, but he already has a return visit set for a game this fall, and the Mountaineers have been recruiting him the hardest. If West Virginia can secure his commitment, then the staff will have done an excellent job of shoring up the third side of the ball for the near future.