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WVU football, hoops tackling 'crazy' world of recruiting

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- DESCRIBING THE craziness within college football recruiting is almost impossible.

The closest I can come is this: Put Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen and Chris Brown in a blender. The almagamation you're left with is recruiting.

The other day, for instance, WVU's basketball coaches apparently believed they had a commitment from Jevon Carter, a 6-foot-2, 165-pound point guard from Proviso East High in Maywood, Ill.

Seemed like a slam dunk. Carter's other published offers came from Kent State, Illinois State, etc. Obviously, though, Mountaineer coach Bob Huggins and others saw something in the kid. He visited Morgantown and apparently committed.

Then came a text to me. "I didn't commit yet," he wrote. Word is, Carter's father stepped in.

WVU seemed near wrapping up its next hoops class. The hope in Morgantown was Carter would join Daxter Miles of Baltimore Dunbar High (who needs an academic qualifying score) and that would be that.

But no. Recruiting isn't that easy. Not in basketball. Not in football.

At the other end of WVU's campus, football recruiting coordinator Ryan Dorchester has been trying his luck at the inexact science.

As it stands, the Mountaineer football team has 13 commitments for its 2014 class. Dorchester is trying to manage that, plus the 2015 class.

"On [Sept. 1] we were able to contact juniors," Dorchester said. "We can write letters, email and use social media, but we still can't call."

I refer back to the goofy amalgamation on that rule. Anyway ...

"It's OK because anymore it's easy to [use] Facebook and say, 'Hey, give me a call.' Calling is kind of antiquated anyway. We have so many different avenues to contact kids.

"It's naive, though, to think you're the only one doing so."

Dorchester said he's concerned some recruits get "worn out" by all the contact. Yet he's placed in a bind.

"Kids get mad if you don't contact them early," he said. "But many of them have played just two years of ball and we haven't made a decision. It's kind of absurd. We've offered a few juniors, but we're not going to go out there and fling offers around, like schools in other conferences. We want substance to our offers."

WVU did, though, jump on one Mountain State junior in Stone Wolfley, a 6-4, 240-pound tight end/defensive end from Morgantown High, who has accepted an offer. He's the son of former West Virginia offensive line standout Dale Wolfley, now director of WVU's Varsity Club.

"Most of the juniors we've offered we either saw in our camp or one of the coaches saw them in the spring," Dorchester said.

As the 2014 class stands, the Mountaineers have 13 commitments - the overwhelming majority of which are offensive linemen. WVU has the word of five O-linemen, three wide receivers (that's no surprise, is it?), two linebackers, a defensive end, a defensive back and a quarterback.

"Every year we need some [players] at every position, outside of specialists [punters and kickers]," Dorchester said. "We knew we needed to bring in some offensive linemen. You can never have too many big guys. They are so valuable to the team and so hard to project. You need a constant flow of them.

"Look at what we have. [Guards] Marquis [Lucas] and Russell [Haughton-James] didn't do anything in the first two years. It took two-and-a-half years in the program before they made the two-deep [depth chart].

"If you're talking about junior college [linemen], you need guys who can be in the two-deep right away. [Mark] Glowinski did redshirt, but now he's a starter. We're OK with that."

Dorchester said other than offensive linemen, you'll see "no other spot where we'll take a ton of kids."

The defensive backfield will probably grow by one shortly. Although Dorchester can't comment on specific athletes, it's known cornerback Jaquan Davidson of Elizabeth [Pa.] Forward High is close to committing over schools like Connecticut and Illinois.

Don't expect commitments from more quarterbacks though. The Mountaineers' highest-rated commitment so far is from Dunbar High's William Crest, a 6-2, 195-pound four-star player.

"I'd love to see a time when taking two [quarterbacks] worked out for both," Dorchester said. "It's almost like wasting a scholarship."

Indeed, you haven't heard of WVU recruiting another this year.

Then again, it's a very, very crazy business.

Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvingle@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.


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