It was a big day for WVU on Wednesday’s traditional National Signing Day.
Not in numbers, mind you.
West Virginia’s fax machines were largely quiet after the Mountaineers signed 20 football players in the first “early” signing period in December.
Yet the size alone of the two offensive linemen signed by the Mountaineers was noteworthy. Monstrous, in fact.
WVU signed brothers Joe and Mike Brown from Eastern Arizona Community College, home of the Gila Monsters. And they stand and weigh 6-foot-4, 340 pounds and 6-3, 340, respectively.
Both are from Paramount High in Compton, California, but have different stories.
Joe Brown originally went to the University of Miami, where he played for then-coach Al Golden as a redshirt freshman, including three starts.
The lineman was apparently headed to BYU, but then transferred to EACC and earned 2016 first-team All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference honors while playing for a 9-3 team that won the Salt City Bowl. The Monsters’ offense led the nation in rushing yards, yards per game and rushing touchdowns. Joe Brown then sat out 2017.
He has one year of eligibility left, but is said set to petition the NCAA for a second season.
Mike Brown, meanwhile, has three years to play two seasons. He was originally committed to Kansas, but flipped to WVU.
While Joe Brown didn’t play last season, his brother Mike did and earned first team all-Western States Football League and ACCAC honors. The Monsters went 8-4 last season and again won the Salt City Bowl. The team again ranked No. 1 nationally in rushing yards.
WVU also had some interest in Independence (Kan.) Community College defensive tackle Emmit Gooden, who has been considering the Mountaineers as well as Arkansas and Tennessee. Word is West Virginia then withdrew its offer, paving the way for Gooden to sign with Tennessee. The lineman is a native of Brownsville, Tennessee.
No statement was issued by WVU on Wednesday, but Ryan Dorchester, director of player personnel, told the Gazette-Mail on Tuesday the Mountaineers had five openings before the Brown signings.
West Virginia could take in graduate transfers, “late out” junior college transfers or simply award scholarships to current walkons like safety Osman Kamara or kicker Evan Staley.
West Virginia University signing class
|Joe Brown||OL||6-4, 340||Compton, Calif. (Eastern Arizona College)|
|Michael Brown||OL||6-3, 340||Compton, Calif. (Eastern Arizona College)|
|*Tyrese Allen||DL||6-3, 292||Hegerhill, Ky. (Paintsville HS)|
|*T.J. Banks||TE||6-5, 240||Duquesne, Pa. (East Allegheny HS)|
|*Charlie Benton||LB||6-3, 215||Opelika, Ala. (Butler CC)|
|*Leddie Brown||RB||6-0, 207||Newark, Del. (Neumann-Goretti HS)|
|*Josh Chandler||LB||5-11, 226||Canton, Ohio (Canton McKinley HS)|
|*Randy Fields Jr.||WR||6-3, 192||Elkton, Md. (St. France Academy)|
|*James Gmiter||DL||6-3, 309||Bethel Park, Pa. (Bethel Park HS)|
|*Sam Jones||WR||6-0, 171||Richmond Hill, Ga. (Richmond Hill HS)|
|*Trey Lowe||QB||6-3, 198||Collierville, Tenn. (Bolivar Central HS)|
|*Briason Mays||OL||6-4, 290||Bolivar, Tenn. (Bolivar Central HS)|
|*Josh Norwood||S||5-11, 175||Valdosta, Ga. (Northwest Mississippi CC)|
|*Mike O'Laughlin||TE||6-5, 230||Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Fenwick HS)|
|*Kwantel Raines||S||6-3, 206||Aliquippa, Pa. (Aliquippa HS)|
|*Blaine Scott||OL||6-4, 330||West Portsmouth, Ohio (Sciotoville Community School)|
|*Skyler Simcox||K||6-0, 190||Abingdon, Va. (Western Kentucky)|
|*Dillon Spalding||WR||6-2, 220||Lorton, Va. (South County HS)|
|*Dante Stills||DL||6-4, 284||Fairmont, W.Va. (Fairmont Senior HS)|
|*Junior Uzebu||OL||6-6, 290||Alpharetta, Ga. (Alpharetta HS)|
|*Keith Washington||CB||6-3, 187||Prattville, Ala. (Copiah-Lincoln CC)|
|*Bryce Wheaton||WR||6-5, 207||Fuquay Varina, N.C. (Holly Springs HS)|