With fall camp in full swing and the 2019 season opener just around the corner, West Virginia’s football coaches have most of their attention on live football. However, there is a small sliver of focus still dedicated to recruiting, especially with the defensive line.
Back in June, the Mountaineers were sitting pretty at the position, having secured a commitment from New Jersey defensive end Aaron Lewis (who chose WVU over multiple other offers).
Then, Lewis stunned everyone by sneaking off to Ann Arbor, Michigan where he flipped loyalty to the University of Michigan. Around the same time, Bluefield star defensive end Sean Martin pulled an even more stunning move by committing to the UNC.
Despite the loss of recruits, the Mountaineers were undeterred. Running backs coach Chad Scott and defensive line coach Jordan Lesley have teamed up on several recruits that could put West Virginia back on top.
The pair never stopped talking to Martin, who eventually reopened his recruitment and said that West Virginia was right there in his recruitment because of that continued effort. So, too, is Kentucky.
“I don’t have the exact dates, but I know I’m going to visit West Virginia and I’m going to visit Kentucky,” Martin said. “Coach Scott is who I talk to from WVU. He just said he really wants me there.”
Scott and Lesley are also teaming up on Academy International (Clearwater, Florida) defensive end Akheem Mesidor.
The 247Sports three-star recruit has 27 offers and picked up nearly half of them in a one week span this past spring. He officially visited Morgantown in June, but says Lesley hasn’t stopped recruiting him.
“I talk to [WVU coaches] daily,” said Mesidor. “I’ve been talking to coach Lesley a lot.”
Mesidor has not taken any other official visits, and did not have any others set up for the fall as of this moment.
Just up the road in Grovetown, Georgia, 247Sports three-star defensive end Simeon Barrow put West Virginia in his top seven, which also included Michigan State, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Troy and Georgia Southern.
Much like Martin and Mesidor, Barrow cited the relentless recruiting from WVU as a reason.
“The coaches show me love every single day, which makes me feel special,” said Barrow. “I’m just waiting on a visit.”
Barrow officially visited Michigan State in June and says he will take a couple more this season, likely early in the fall because he would like to make a decision “soon.”
West Virginia has already rebounded somewhat from the loss of Lewis, adding elite defensive tackle Quay Mays – who picked up an offer from Oklahoma after committing to WVU – but could do even more thanks to their persistent recruiting efforts, all while they are prepping the current team for the fall.