MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — If retroactive recruiting rankings are your thing, take a glimpse back at the dual-threat quarterbacks in the 2011 class.

There sat J.W. Walsh at No. 4 on the Rivals list, a few notches behind top-rated Braxton Miller and a few spots ahead of Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota and and Johnny Manziel.

Even before he zoomed up the national list and achieved four-star status, Walsh caught the attention of Dana Holgorsen, the newly hired offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. It helped that Holgorsen was friends with Walsh’s dad John, the coach at Denton Guyer High School, about a half-hour’s drive north of Dallas.

As OSU head coach Mike Gundy recounted this week, Holgorsen wanted to make Walsh’s recruitment a priority, and once the kid wound up committing in February 2010, he became the only quarterback the Cowboys signed in the following year’s class.

“We knew about J.W., but Dana kind of pushed the issue with him, and his relationship with Coach Walsh was really good,” Gundy said. “(Holgorsen) was the one that pushed the envelope early.

“From there, when we saw his tape and his history of being a winner, it didn’t really take much to convince us to bring him in.”

Come Saturday at high noon, Holgorsen—lured away to West Virginia before Walsh enrolled—finally gets to face the quarterback he helped lure to Oklahoma State. Walsh was sidelined with fractured right knee when WVU lost 55-34 in Stillwater last season, an injury with an astonishing backstory that only bolsters Holgorsen’s initial perception of Walsh.

“He’s a winner,” said Holgorsen. “Being a coach’s kid, watching him win (high school) games with the intangibles he has, you could see that on the sidelines and in practice. You can take those guys and make their skills better, and obviously they have.”

See what Cowboys coaches and players said about WVU.

Despite the knee injury that shelved Walsh for three games, he closed 2012 with a 170.11 quarterback rating that was the fourth-best ever for an FBS freshman. (The company ahead of him in that class included Michael Vick and Sam Bradford.) He completed 66 percent of his passes, posted a 13-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio, threw for 1,564 yards and ran for another 290 yards and seven scores.

In three games this fall, Walsh’s completion rate exceeds 70 percent and his yards per carry has climbed from 5.8 to 7.3. And while lacking NFL arm strength, he displays superb touch and anticipation, allowing him to make enough downfield throws to prevent secondaries from suffocating the Cowboys’ quick-screen game.

Walsh is the picture of efficiency on an offense that couldn’t be more statistically efficient—at least not in the red zone, where the Cowboys have 15 touchdowns in 15 trips. No stat better exemplifies Walsh’s knack for exploiting small creases with the read-option.

The breakdown on those red-zone TDs: five passing and 10 rushing.

Scooting through the line on draws and option keepers, Walsh leads OSU in rushing at 60.7 yards per game. He also owns the Cowboys longest run from scrimmage at 46 yards, which came against Mississippi State (not some cheapie against UT-San Antonio or Lamar).

But how does his elusiveness compare to Oklahoma’s tandem of Trevor Knight (seven carries for 42 yards) and Blake Bell (two for 21) or Maryland’s C.J. Brown (14 for 26 yards)?

“He’s no faster than the Oklahoma kid, he’s no faster than the Maryland kid,” said WVU linebacker Jared Barber. “It’s good that we already played two quarterbacks who can also run, so I think we’ll handle it pretty well.”

Oklahoma State has committed one turnover this season, remarkable ball security for a squad that has run 222 plays.

Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich—plucked by Gundy from, of all places, Division II Shippensburg University in February—couldn’t have asked for a better start, though he’s wary of jinxing it.

“You kind of feel like you’re in the dugout in the eighth inning, and you don’t want to talk about the no-hitter,” he said.

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  • Dave

    It looks like Clint Trickett will get the start. It appears Ford Childress is injured and hasn't practiced all week.

  • Ron_Jeremy

    Clint will lead us to an upset victory this weekend. Many fans will forget about the UMD game by week 12. I still can't figure out why we didn't go with an experienced QB from the start-- especially with an offense that only takes a few days to install per Mr. Red Bull

    Clint sorta reminds me of myself when I transitioned from one type of work to another type (VHS to DVD).

    Go Trick !!!! Lets Go Mountaineers !!!!

  • unclec

    I still say more home state boys. Look at all the major college teams and the number of in state players. Get them to motown build them up. More heart and w v pride.Now look at the number of coaches that have been at wv snd are head coaches now, how are they doing?

    • Chet Ubetcha

      That is a terrible strategy, do you know how many high D-1 players WV actually produced last year? The correct answer is 2, and one of them is generous as they went to Ohio. They aren't even starters, so how can you build a team with an average of 4 players a year?

      • unclec

        Well how have we done with all the out of state players? The number of stars by a players name does not mean a single thing. It has to do with heart and how much he will give.

  • chad

    I will never understand peoples hatred for Oliver Luck. I cannot think a better man for the AD job at WVU. He is an alumus, former starting QB, and an accomplished business man in the sports world. I guess he has done to much to move the program into the 21st Century and people fear that change. Or maybe people just like to hear themselves gripe.

    • Shadow

      One reason, I like basketball better than football and Luck dissed it. Basketball has had more success than football ever. Forgot,the Rifle Team, a real winner, and the sport is not in the Big 12. I think you mean back to the 20th Century.

    • GoEers


      The hatred for Oliver luck comes from non WVU fans who are jealous of the fact he was able to get them out of the Big East and into the Big 12 thus securing WVU's future as a member of one of the Big 5 Conferences. They hate the fact that WVU wasn't left for dead when the smoke from realignment cleared. They hate the fact that WVU will be making $35 million additional revenue from the moves that he has made. These same people that bash Luck are the same ones that used to bash WVU becasue they thought was stuck in what they called the Little East. These jealous losers will always look for something negative to say about WVU in order to make themselves feel better about the sorry schools that they cheer for.

      Personally I like when these trolls post on WVU articles. It just goes to show how relevant WVU athletics is. It's the only game in town.

      • Brad

        These are the same people that said the same about RichRod after his 2nd & 3rd loss in the same year to MD...& up until that UofL game..

        But where very quick to forgive & forget after the UGA game & we had TWO good seasons... But they don't remember 1994-2003 what happened in those years?? A steady dose of 7-3/6-4/5-5....

        & let's give the university a reputation of firing coaches after 3yrs in a top conference with 5-6 really good consistent teams? & those same people must not realize the recruiting problems WVU has... Yeah we got Tavon & Geno....
        But not Tajh Boyd? Why not? & we got Pat White because LSU did not want him as a QB (which was his 1st choice)... But who else? We were getting 2* & 3* O & D lineman. The 4 & 5 * guys wanna play B1G & SEC football..

        But this years guys are really good.. We do have a lot of really good lineman & backers.... But a few have redshirted & those who haven't are really young & need a few games to get it...... But why am I wasting my time typing this crap out? Most of those people do not understand recruiting & D-1 football... They just want instant wins & no building years.... So if we do fire Holgs after this season, & the next guy only has what 3yrs & should dominate or else armchair AD's, coaches & QB's will be mad..

        • Janem

          @ Brad .... I agree

  • Dave

    Give Holgorsen some time to get it turned around. He cleaned house and brought in some new coaches and some good talent. It takes time.

  • GoEers

    James...what excuses have you heard out of both Luck and Holgorsen? Please provide direct quotes. Also how do you know that Luck is a drunk? Do you have any proof or are you just making an idiotic statement because you are probably not even a WVU fan. You're probably one of those typical jealous Marshall trolls. You are pathetic!

    • James

      Actually Goerrs, I've lived in mtsbg, wv my whole life, played football and set numerous records in football at martinsburg high school in 1997, had the state record for total yards and passing touch downs until JR House broke my records, so before you sprout off out the mouth, know your facts dummy, truth hurts, your prolly that guy who never played a sport in your life, I on the other hand was first team all state in football,basketball, baseball, by the way I won a state baseball championship as a freshman, batting average was 815 as a freshman, drink some more of danas koolaid

      • GoEers


        I don't see where I asked you to relive your glory days in high school. I asked you for proof to back up your statement that Oliver Luck is a drunk. Either answer the question, or go back to your bedroom in your parents house and put on your 1997 lettermen's jacket and keep reminiscing about how great of an athlete you were. From the stupid things you say, it doesn't sound like you've made much of yourself since those high school days.

  • Bryan

    For all those who do not like the situation at WVU take your ball and go home. Just do us sensible fans a favor though and stay there when this coaching staff and these players reach their potential, get things turned around and starts winning.

    • tw eagle

      you must be related to the guy in the movie "the natural" ... that guy "management" brought in to teach "positive thinking" to try and talk the team into winning ... holgersons line ... "think positive, we're this close" ... well the D HAS arrived , but the O has been stalled by hitching up to the wrong horse ... there are better options available in Morgantown than the hall of famer under center we're all just waiting for to become a competent D1 player ... my suggestion is for some media to get together and sit down with conner arlia and get an inside look on what is "happening" to the WVU program

    • Rick

      That is an excellent idea, Bryan.

      If everybody who does not like the current situation at WVU would go (or stay) home, then the 40,000 ensuing empty seats at the football stadium would do wonders to alleviate the traffic problems on game days.

  • James

    WVU football will never win until they get rid of Luck and Holgersen, both are over paid drunks and dummies, all Im hearing out of them is excuses, the kids have no respect for him, did you see how holgersen acted on the side line in the 4th quarter, wasnt coaching or talking to any of his players, he was a bad choice then, and will stay that way, we could of hired Jimbo Fisher, Terry Bowden, hell i would of even settle for Doc Holliday, but no we get stuck with this non coaching fool, season is over, hopefully basketball is better

    • gnarly dude

      I, hear, ya, bro

      • William

        Some WVU fans can't take the TRUTH. WVU football is in very bad shape. Holgorsen is learning how to be a HEAD Coach at WVU. He will leave WVU soon, it's just a matter of time.
        I will make a list and it will be interesting in seeing how long the list will be.

        • Dougie

          Sorry, there is a limit on how long a post you can put on here, so I can't post all of the good things about Holgorsen. In summary his QB's and offenses have more NCAA records than MU grads can count to.

        • al

          I hope he goes very soon. Today would be a good day.

  • GoEers

    And if Big Larry said that it was an experiment that went bad and will set the program back 5 years then it must be true. Big Larry is the same idiot that said the same exact things about Rich Rod and WVU after they lost to Maryland 34-7 in 2003. One week later WVU lost at Miami by a last second field goal. After that game, they rattled off 7 straight wins and went to a Bowl Game. Two seasons later they won the Sugar Bowl against the SEC Champ. From 2003 to 2011 they won 3 BCS Bowl Games and the Gator Bowl.

    Big Larry knows everything about WVU coaches, players, the atheltic dept. and the fans. I think that's pretty good considering he is a self proclaimed Marshall fan. Isn't it sad that as a Marshall fan, he reads and posts on all articles about WVU. See Marshall isn't relevant enough for Big Larry to read or comment about. Big Larry's favorite team hasn't won or played in any BCS or New Year's Day Bowl games, nor have they ever beaten WVU. Keep on reading and posting on WVU articles Big Larry. All it does is show how jealous you are of everything WVU.

    • Big Larry


      Quite the contrary....I hope that WVU wins every game they play...I have been a fan since 1960...

      Its just that under the direction of Oliver Luck, the Basketball & Football programs have fallen into the ABYSS and may never recover.

      And No...Everything is not "Sunshine & Roses" as you and many in here so blindly presume....

      It's you that I suspect that is jealous of Marshall and how they are moving upward while WVU is sinking faster than the Titanic....

      I hope both schools succeed and do well, heck...I even pull for Glenville and WV State....

      So I suggest you start living in the real world and quit worrying about Marshall University...

      Oh, and one more thing for you to remember:

      When you are watching the WVU game this Saturday, just remember...

      It is perfectly OK to cry in front of your wife & kids...

      Oklahoma State 52 WVU 7

      • GoEers

        You're showing your true colors Larry which is green and white. I know it's hard for you to handle the fact that WVU beat your beloved Herd 7 straight times and our 12-0 all time. I know it hurt for you to watch WVU win 3 BCS Bowl games in the last 8 seasons. It's hard for you to accept the fact that Marshall is one of the have nots and does not have access to the Playoff or New Year's Day Bowl games. I know it's hard for you to accept these facts because you continue to post your jealousy and hatred about everything related to WVU. What a miserable human being you are.

        If anyone knows about crying it's certainly you. I bet you cried all night in your mom' s basement when WVU beat MU and won all those BCS Bowls.

        Now do all of us a favor by getting yourself a job and off of welfare. You're wasting our tax dollars on internet service.

        • leroy jethro gibbs

 your work

        • Janem

 are on it it

    • Janem

      Great post

      • Rick

        No, any post that resorts to name-calling ("idiot") is not a great post. A great post makes valid points while at the same time being respectful and showing some civility.

        • GoEers

          Rick...calling Big Larry an idiot was being civil. I have seen him called a lot worse. All my points can be validated. His points are nothing but pure jealousy and hatred that he has for WVU. If he is going to continue with those types of posts then he will be called out.

          • Janem

            @GoEers.... Great post I love it. I'll back you up... Don't stop ...Larry deserves what he gets..

  • Dave

    This story shows that Dana Holgorsen knows talent when he sees it. It just has to develop and be coached up. I really believe Dana will get things turned around. All teams go through a rebuilding year and that's what we're going through now. Any good fan knows this and will still back their team even when they're not as good as we had wished. Better times are ahead. WV has a lot of fresh new talent that needs coached up. Once we get past the rebuilding and start the reloading watch the bandwagon start to fill up with these fair weather fans.

  • Devan

    The Dana experiment continues its downward spiral. Dana loses goes 4-9 over his last 13 games.

    All while WVU fans pay the 23rd highest college football ticket prices in the country.

    Oklahoma State 53
    WVU 6

    • Brad

      Do we really want to be the university that fires coaches after 3 years? Who will wanna come here & coach if they aren't giving time to build their a university that has been proven to be impossible to recruit to, when fighting OSU, Pitt PSU & VaTech? Who???

    • Bobby M

      RIGHT! But maybe not! Its like stock market that GOES up and down and sometimes its NOT what you think AND other times - IT - is! Nobody really KNOWS how it will turn out because the possibilities are infinity and just when YOU think its going ONE way - POW! It goes THE other! And then YOU think I have it figured! But POW! again and it switches BACK!

      So now WHAT do we DO? We sit AND wait to watch it UNFOLD before our eyes and MAYBE just maybe we CAN pull it off!

      I am PSYCHED OUT! Spot it UP! Let it RIP! Rock N Roll RUMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Big Larry


      It was an experiment that went bad and has set the Mountaineer Football program back 5 years...

      And will continue to get worse...

      • Sheikh yo bonbon

        Big Larry....clean up in isle 8
        Big Larry....clean up in isle 8

  • Bim

    Great information for readers and fans.

  • Janem

    Great report Allan really enjoyed this, in my opinion one of your best..

    • Janem

      Just now heard that Clint was going to start Saturday Ford has an injury don't know what it is.

    • William

      When you own a company and hire a person to be in a leadership position and a person that will be a charge of others, there are 4 things that are a must -
      1. Must be TRUSTFUL.
      2. Must be EXPERIENCED.
      3. Must have GREAT CHARACTER.
      4. Must have a good REPUTATION.
      These other things are a plus - Love the state of West Virginia, bleed blue and gold, love the fans, and just be a good person.
      When you hire people that don't have these four, things can end up in a big mess =

      • Bryan

        And where do you think the experience comes from? Guess head coaches just appear out of the sky already experienced.

        • Bryan

          Can't believe now that I thought about a minute that I even lowered myself to respond William's great post.