MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Taking just a cursory look at West Virginia's football roster and its last two recruiting classes, there don't seem to be many glaring holes that need to be addressed in recruiting.
That's just from a numbers standpoint, of course.
For instance, the positions that will be hit hardest by graduation within the next two years seem to be linebacker, offensive line and defensive line. But in the last two recruiting classes, coach Dana Holgorsen has signed more players at each position than will be lost.
Sometimes, though, numbers can be deceiving and far too simplistic. They don't take into account the quality of the players who will be lost or those who have been signed.
So as West Virginia heads into the meat of its recruiting season - summer camps and the fall high school season - the Mountaineers have some concrete goals.
"I think it was part of Coach Holgorsen's bigger plan when he arrived that it would take three full recruiting classes to get where we wanted to be,'' said Ryan Dorchester, WVU's recruiting coordinator. "This will be the third class. I think that perception [that there are no major holes in terms of specific positions] might not be true.''
Take, for instance, the offensive line, specifically at tackle. On his late-spring depth chart, Holgorsen listed just three offensive tackles on the two deep - starters Quinton Spain and Curtis Feigt and backup Nick Kindler at both positions. Spain is a junior and the other twoare seniors, and for the most part very few of the younger players have yet to prove they are next in line.
So despite the fact that WVU has signed eight offensive linemen in the last two recruiting classes (they will lose five in the next two years), the tackle position is still considered one of need in this next class.
"It's an area we have to address,'' Dorchester said. "We don't have a whole lot of experience there now and we'll lose what we have pretty soon.
"And it's tricky, really, with those guys. You might recruit a guy as a tackle and find out he's a pretty good guard. We just don't have many tackles.''
Natural roster attrition is also an element in play. Consider wide receiver, where in the last two classes the Mountaineers have signed no less than 11. Only two receivers on the current roster - just-arrived junior college transfer Kevin White and back-again senior Ivan McCartney - are upperclassmen among those who were recruited (Connor Arlia is a junior but was originally a walk-on). But given the loss of Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and J.D. Woods, very few have experience and have proven themselves.
So wide receiver will be a target, too. Then again, that position will always be targeted no matter the depth at hand.
"You're always looking for a guy who can make a difference,'' Dorchester said. "If he's an athlete, you're not going to turn him away because you have guys at his position.''