West Virginia announced two new assistant coaches on Friday evening, introducing Jeff Koonz as inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator and Gerad Parker as the new outside receivers coach and offensive coordinator.
The moves were celebrated because both are highly thought of in the coaching community, and should fit in well with what Neal Brown is trying to do at WVU. The two should also help the program on the recruiting trail.
For Parker, he’s been the lead recruiter for Penn State on nearly every single one of West Virginia’s top receiver targets for the Class of 2021. Dont’e Thornton and Kaden Prather, both from Maryland, were in constant contact with Parker when he was in Happy Valley, and both also had WVU among their top programs.
Thornton was once committed to Parker and Penn State, but opened things back up after visiting several other schools, including making multiple stops in Morgantown. Prather camped last summer and got an offer from WVU right away, then followed up with a game visit in the fall and is expected back later this month or in the spring.
There’s also JJ Jones from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The 2021 wideout is the son of former WVU running back Jon Jones, so the Mountaineers were already in a good spot. In fact, West Virginia made Jones’ top five recently. Two of the other four schools were there at least in part because of Parker – Duke and Penn State. Parker initiated contact with Jones as an assistant with Duke in 2018, then offered with Penn State last year after WVU had already done so.
His reach goes beyond next year’s class, too. Parker was the lead recruiter on Westerville South (Ohio) athlete Kaden Saunders. The 2022 prospect is already one of the nation’s best, and he just put Penn State at the top of his list last week. Parker was a big reason for that and now Saunders is reconsidering his top schools. He’s already been to WVU multiple times, so expect the Mountaineers to be a contender there.
And let’s not forget about Koonz, either. He has a long and versatile history of recruiting thanks to his multiple college stops. He’s recruited in Ohio, Virginia, Texas, and most of the Southeast. He’s brought in players from high school and junior college, sending multiple players on to the NFL. He has especially strong ties to the JUCO ranks. His father is the head coach at Holmes Community College (Mississippi).
Now that the pair of coaches have been formally introduced, the two will begin recruiting on behalf of the Mountaineers. The dead period will be lifted later this week, and the staff will get their first real crack at recruiting for WVU.