Latest recruiting class continues to take shape
MORGANTOWN - With a week remaining before the start of the NCAA's signing period for football recruits, West Virginia's list of commitments is doing pretty much what it always does at this point.
Coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff appear to have 22 commitments. Six are from junior college players and 16 from high school seniors.
Two of the junior college players and five of the high school seniors are already enrolled and in school and eligible to work out during winter conditioning and take part in spring practice. None of the other 15 are bound to West Virginia until they sign their letters of intent and qualify academically.
Of the 22 commitments, five are running backs, five linebackers, four wide receivers, four offensive linemen, two defensive backs, a defensive lineman and a quarterback.
Where's the fluctuation? Well, in the past week one player previously committed to WVU has switched and, at least for now, decided to go elsewhere. On the flip side, another decommited elsewhere and is now pledged to the Mountaineers.
The latest commitment is Grant Lingafelter, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive lineman from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. He had previously committed to Miami (Ohio).
But running back Zaire Williams is now committed to Temple after earlier pledging to West Virginia.
And don't expect the flip-flopping to end. The Mountaineers are still involved with at least a handful of players committed elsewhere and others who have not committed.
Perhaps the most intriguing of the players on the WVU recruiting board is safety Tyler Boyd of Clairton (Pa.). He has offers from a whole host of major schools and has committed to Pitt. But he was also the first target of newly hired WVU assistant coach Tony Gibson when he began work two weeks ago and on Monday made an official visit during the WVU-Kansas basketball game.
There is no more wondering about the seven players who are already enrolled.
The group includes junior college running back Dreamius Smith and junior college wide receiver Kevin White, along with the five high school seniors who graduated early - quarterback Chavis Rawlins, running back Wendell Smallwood, receiver Daikiel Shorts, defensive back Malik Greaves and linebacker Hodari Christian.
Two other junior college players signed mid-year letters of intent and were to enroll for the spring semester, but did not complete their junior college course work. Receiver Ronald Carswell could still arrive this summer, but safety Terrell Pinson is reportedly off the WVU board.
The remaining verbal commitments include two other junior college players, offensive lineman Stone Underwood and linebacker d'Vante Henry. The high school players, besides Lingafelter, include receiver Shelton Gibson; linebackers Al-Rasheed Benton, Isaac McDonald and Darrien Howard; running backs Jacky Marcellus, DeShawn Coleman and Spring Valley's Elijah Wellman; offensive linemen Tyler Tezeno and Marcell Lazard; defensive lineman Marvin Gross and defensive back Daryl Worley.
Of the enrolled and committed recruits, almost all are three-star players according to both Rivals and Scout. Howard is given four stars by both recruiting websites and Gibson four stars by Rivals.