West Virginia couldn’t land receiver Tyler Boyd, and junior college quarterback Tanner McEvoy chose Wisconsin, but the Mountaineers’ coaching staff left National Signing Day with plenty of smiles after reeling in the school’s highest-ranked class since 2007.

Dana Holgorsen brought in playmaking replacements to keep his Air Raid offense soaring, along with 11 defensive signees expected to help WVU stop other teams’ playmakers for a change.

Rivals ranked WVU’s class No. 24 in the nation and, just as importantly, third-best in the Big 12, only one spot behind Texas. (Read bios on the signees here.)

“For one day, it’s safe to say that the West Virginia coaches hit a home run with this class. It’s also a strong mix of junior college and prep talent, and this group should produce many immediate contributors.”— Keenan Cummings of Rivals website WVSports.com

On the heels of classes that Rivals ranked 47th and 48th respectively the past two years, West Virginia cast a wide net to sign some elite junior college talent. Keenan Cummings, senior writer for the Rivals website WVSports.com, said it compares favorably to the 27th-ranked 2009 class that was heavy on future stars (Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey) though severely impacted by attrition.

“For one day, it’s safe to say that the West Virginia coaches hit a home run with this class,” Cummings said. “Obviously those rankings don’t mean anything other than a grade on a piece of paper until the players make it to campus.

“Holgorsen mentioned the need for secure pass rushers and playmakers in this class, and like him, I think the coaches did an excellent job of that. It’s also a strong mix of junior college and prep talent, and this group should produce many immediate contributors.”

The mid-January additions of assistant coaches Tony Gibson and Lonnie Galloway paid dividends.

“I think both assistant coaches will only add to the overall product for the Mountaineers, because both have built great resumes as recruiters,” Cummings said.

“The one extremely important factor for West Virginia is the fact that both coaches have been here before and understand what it’s like to recruit to and for the Mountaineers. It’s also a huge bonus that both coaches know the landscape regionally and can help West Virginia reconnect in key areas such as Pennsylvania and Maryland.”

Gibson, in particular, has embraced his primary role as a roster-builder. He’ll also coach WVU’s safeties.

DeShawn Coleman

“Gibson’s reputation as a good recruiter has definitely been earned over the years and it starts with his ability to connect not only with the prospects, but their families,” Cummings said. “For instance, (on Wednesday) Gibson spoke about recruiting not only Mario Alford and Brandon Golson, but getting their families on board with West Virginia and exposing their families to the program and what to expect. Relationships are everything in recruiting and Gibson understands that well.”

Jacky Marcellus

SIGNING DAY HOLDOUTS

Three West Virginia commitments have not signed their letters-of-intent, leaving their situations murky.

Jacky Marcellus (Immokalee, Fla.) and DeShawn Coleman (Hermitage, Pa.) — both three-star running backs —committed before their senior seasons. Three-star prospect Marquion Lane (DeLand, Fla.), the only cornerback in WVU’s class, chose the Mountaineers on signing day over Miami, Louisville, Arkansas, Nebraska and Michigan State.

Marquion Lane

“There is definitely potential for all three to join WVU and the trio would be a welcomed addition to the current class,” Cumming said. “But it’s my understanding that they need to take care of some business first — either in the classroom or other areas.”

DUAL-THREAT QB

Three-star signee Chavis Rawlins doesn’t fit the pocket-passer profile of Holgorsen’s previous quarterbacks, and the coach likes it that way. With junior Paul Millard and redshirt freshman Ford Childress at the head of the line to replace Geno Smith, Holgorsen wants to see what Rawlins can add to the quarterback position with his mobility.

“We wanted to bring in somebody who was a little bit different than what we already had,” Holgorsen said. “These guys (Millard and Childress) are just pocket guys, we know that. So with Chavis, he’s able to come in and bring us some versatility and athleticism at that position. And he was a local kid who wanted to be a Mountaineer real bad, so we told him he was going to be the only quarterback that’s going to be in this class.”

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Comments

  • Brian

    Comments section is proof we should abolish all gov't aid and allow natural selection to clean up the gene pool.

  • Dru

    Last year was indeed a disapointment. It is a promising class of players. No need to debate the success of our Mountaineers. Let the answer play out on the field. I will be in the stands watching and cheering for the answer to the question. What does this upcoming season have in store for us? LET'S GO MOUNTAINEERS!

  • joeg

    Ratings don't mean alot. Attrition takes out alot of good talent. Many never make it into school. the rating services often change a kids "grade" after he picks Notre Dame... Pat White was a two star. So was Adam Jones. Rich Braham & Renaldo Turnbull had stellar WVU careers and walked on (no stars).
    As for next year, I really believe the coaching will be stronger on D (especially pass coverage with a more proven CB coach and more experienced players). WV's achilles always seems to be our D Line. Did not like how we got pushed off the ball in the bowl and don't see much help coming in that area from this class. Hope I'm wrong on this.
    I don't know how anyone can predict a record for next year. With just a little better D this year, we would have had 2-3 more W's. It made me sick we couldn't stop scores with only a minute or two left on the clock.

  • ian

    I'm in 7+ wins I need some free money!

  • Maxxajay

    I don't see this coming team as a re-building team. Just think about it all of the junior college transfer sounds to me like reloading

  • Uncle Fester

    Hey Shawn,
    Do live in a van down by the river???

  • Uncle Fester

    Hey Shawn,
    You never said you would take the bet. All you said was stick with 8 wins. Improved defense???? What are you watching?? Certainly not the WVU defense. When they go from the 119th ranked defense to 110 next year, I guess you COULD call that improved. LOL. Thats 4-8 next year with half the wins against I-AA teams. Now thats improved. LOL. Spakoley Shawn, like I said earlier, please put the bong down and come up for a little air.

    • shawn

      Dude your arguments are soft and make no sense at all. As for the bet, who actually bets on the metronews? I mean if I knew you and I didn't think you would be a creeper then yes I would bet you. And your cheesy van comment shouldn't even come out of your mouth. Save that for the comedians.

  • Powderhorn

    WVU won't lose 8 football games over the next two years combined!

  • JB

    WVU will do fine. Going to be a tough year with all the rebuilding.
    Marshall should be fine as well, they now should be able to compete in the weakened Cusa conference.
    However the only comparison that rings true on these two programs are they both reside in WV, period. Now thats a fact!

  • Matt

    Hey big Tom...do the world a favor and pull your lip over your head and swallow, your negativity is disgusting. Holgerson is our coach and a great one at that ill go farther on the record 9-3 with a big upset in Morgantown. Btw take fester with you

    • Maxxajay

      Matt great suggestion I was sitting here reading this and thinking the same thing nine and three big upset in Morgantown thumbs-up

  • big tom

    let's bump that bet up to 1000 dollars.

    • Shawn

      I bet you can't stay off of the Metronews site for at least two years. Any takers on that?

  • Jake

    The thing that i'm afraid of next year is the head coach. He is a great assistant coach, but not a head coach. I hope he does a better job of leading this team. i thing all the peice to the puzzle is in place, but him. Go EERS!!!

  • Stan

    I'm in too. I'll take that bet any day.

    • Uncle Fester

      Belly up to the bar big boy and place your bet. Stan, Tom and Hailey all thought WVU and Idiot Holgerson were going 12-0 in 2012. How did that turn out for you b*tches???

  • Hailey

    Uncle fetus, Im in... 6+ wins is a lock

    • Tom

      Uncle Fetus took a bit much of the bath salt cough remedy.

  • big tom

    one agency had us 32nd. fifth best in the big 12. doesn't sound like swagger material to me, but i guess it's better than 44th.
    seems we are going to be stuck in this funk for years, even though our facilities are improving, still the HC position is not a destination job, it's still a stepping stone, as Holgie is like receiving the 6th highest salary in the big 12, but then, why does he deserve more",,, a 7-6 record and destroyed by lowly syra. isn't reason for a pay increase, no, wait a minute, yes it is , let's give him more money for a poor year. and lets keep paying joe deforest 400,000 per yr.. no let's bump that up to 500,000 per yr. since he did such a wonderful job with the def. and was just demoted once during the season.;

    • Shawn

      Let's all put some money in a hat and send Big Tom on a vacation so he can get some happiness in his life. I hope Marshall has a better season next year so you'll be happier.

      • Uncle Fester

        Shawn, I got a hundred bucks that says WVU and Idiot Holgorsen won't win 6 games in 2013. Put your money where your mouth is buddy?? Can you put the Kool-Aid and bong down long enough to make such a bet???

        • Tom

          Ill take that bet Uncle Jerry Sandusky... where are we going to meet so you can give me your govt aid check? I stand by 8 wins.

        • big tom

          i think uncle fester is right, maybe 5 wins, maybe,, no bowl.... focus on reality not day dreams shawn

          • Shawn

            It has become obvious that Big Tom and Uncle Pester are either the same person or they both live in Negative Town down on Nobody Gives a Sh*t Street next to the Lack of Intelligence Home for the Sportingly Challenged.

        • Shawn

          With the improved defense and almost every team rebuilding at QB...yea i'll stick with my 8 wins.

        • Shawn

          Hey Uncle Pester are you a WVU fan?