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NCAA clears linebacker Howard

MORGANTOWN - The finishing touch has finally been put on West Virginia's 2013 football recruiting class.

Well, at least as far as eligibility is concerned.

Darrien Howard, the 6-foot-2, 250-pound linebacker from Dayton who was the last academic question mark among the school's February signees, was cleared by the NCAA Wednesday and is expected on campus today. He is already in the school's student directory.

Howard was the last of WVU's 25 recruits to gain eligibility, a week after safety Isaac McDonald did the same. McDonald arrived last weekend and began practicing.

It's the first time in recent memory that an entire West Virginia recruiting class did not lose at least one player to academics. None of the 25 signees delayed enrollment, either, which has been common in recent years.

That 25-for-25 comes with a couple of caveats, however. One player, junior college linebacker D'Vante Henry, enrolled in school over the summer, but did not report to camp at the beginning of August because of what the WVU coaches term "personal issues.''

And one other February signee, quarterback Chavas Rawlins, enrolled in January and went through spring practice, but then decided to leave school. Rawlins has since enrolled at Duquesne, which plays at the FCS level.

Meanwhile, West Virginia's basketball team is still waiting on two players from its recruiting class. Neither Jonathan Holton nor Elijah Macon has enrolled. They can do so until Friday.

Holton, who played a year at Rhode Island and then at a junior college in Florida, spent the summer attempting to acquire his junior college degree in order to enroll. Reports have indicated that he finished the work, but his grades and paperwork are still outstanding.

Macon's status is unknown. He's a freshman who spent last year in prep school after failing to qualify.

Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickman1@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1


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