MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As the national letters of intent rolled in Wednesday, we updated West Virginia’s recruiting class below—changing the commitments to signees and keeping track of certain targets the Mountaineers are still pursuing.
One of those primary targets, four-star running back Donte Thomas-Williams, chose WVU over N.C. State around 11 a.m.
The morning launched with a surprising commitment from Philadelphia offensive tackle Dontae Angus, a three-star prospect who was a former Florida commitment.
Rivals.com ranked WVU’s class 38th in the nation and fifth in the Big 12.
QB 6-2, 195
|Baltimore (Md.) Dunbar High School|
|Dual-threat QB won three prep state titles |
Rivals rates Crest a four-star prospect, the No. 5 prospect in Maryland and No. 231 nationally. Though a departure from the typical quarterbacks who have starred in Dana Holgorsen’s offense, he possesses pocket-passing skills and was lured to West Virginia by the phenomenal success Geno Smith enjoyed. It didn’t hurt that Crest is from the same program that produced Tavon Austin, or that former high school teammate Marvin Gross signed with WVU last year. Gross showed Crest around campus last fall the weekend William & Mary game. … Crest, who at one point hoped to enroll in January, has been committed to West Virginia since last April when he chose the Mountaineers over Virginia Tech, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Vanderbilt.
RB 6-0, 220
|Durham (N.C.) Hillside High School|
|Power back ran for 2,400 yards |
A four-star prospect, Thomas-Williams listed WVU as his frontrunner last month, but continues to give N.C. State strong consideration. He also holds offers from Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, UCLA, North Carolina and others. … Rival ranks him the No. 21 running back nationally, while 247Sports scores him 12th at his position and ESPN ranks him 13th. Thomas-Williams enjoyed a stellar senior season with 2,400 yards and 24 touchdowns in only 12 games. He scored 54 career touchdowns in high school, including three kick-return scores.
DB 5-11, 190
|Aliquippa (Pa.) High School|
|Safety with 4.5 speed could play corner |
Rivals rates Henry a four-star recruit, the No. 16 safety prospect nationally (No. 167 overall) and the No. 2 prospect in this year’s Pennsylvania class. Fast enough to play corner, he could be a versatile secondary addition who makes an immediate impact as a freshman. After producing big offensive numbers in high school, Henry also could get a look as a returner on special teams. … Recruited by WVU safeties coach Tony Gibson, Henry committed to the Mountaineers on Jan. 31 over Pitt, Miami, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and UCLA.
DB 6-1, 188
|Friendship Collegiate (D.C.) Academy|
|Safety carries rep as a big-hitter |
Rivals rates Funderburk a three-star recruit, the No. 38 safety prospect nationally and the No. 4 prospect out of the D.C. area. He’s a thumper who’s thus far better at using his 4.5 speed to come up and apply hits than he is in coverage. … He committed to Temple as a junior but rethought that pledge as higher-profile programs showed interest. Recruited by WVU receivers coach Lonny Galloway, Funderburk committed to the Mountaineers on Jan. 17 over Miami, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia, Pitt, Arizona and Georgia Tech.
WR 5-8, 160
|Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington High School|
|Speedster looks like quintessential slot receiver |
The three-star recruit is rated the No. 77 wide receiver prospect by Rivals nationally and the No. 92 prospect in Florida. He closed his high school career with back-to-back Class 4A state championships, finishing with 32 catches for 554 receiving yards and six touchdowns as junior, followed by 42 receptions, 739 yards and nine scores as a senior. With 4.4 speed and a knack for running crisp routes at competitive camps, he figures to be ideally suited for an inside receiver role in the Air Raid offense. … Recruited by running backs coach JaJuan Seider, Parker committed to WVU on June 16 and subsequently visited Utah, but says he’s sticking with the Mountaineers over offers from Florida State, Cincinnati, Texas A&M and Marshall.
OL 6-5, 276
|Eastern Christian (Md.) Academy|
|Tackle sports mean streak and athleticism |
The three-star recruit is rated the No. 59 offensive tackle prospect by Rivals nationally and the No. 19 prospect in Maryland. Raw but nasty, Herr figures to utilize a redshirt season to hone his mechanics before competing for playing time. … Recruited by receivers coach Lonny Galloway, Herr comes from the same high school that produce Wendell Smallwood and Daikiel Shorts. He committed to the Mountaineers on July 31 over Pitt, Florida State, Tennessee, N.C. State, UConn and Syracuse.
WR 6-0, 182
|Miami (Fla.) Coral Reef High School|
|Speedster looks like quintessential slot receiver |
The three-star recruit is rated the No. 79 wide receiver prospect by Rivals nationally and the No. 82 prospect in Florida. He’s not a burner with a 4.51 time in the 40, but his football speed shows up on film and he possesses good body control. He can play either outside or in the slot at West Virginia. … Recruited by running backs coach JaJuan Seider, McCrary committed to WVU on June 18 over offers from Florida State, Clemson, Florida, Auburn, LSU, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, UCLA, Marshall and others. He told Rivals in January that he feels like this year’s class "can come in and build a dynasty over there and get it back to where it was, winning bowl games and a bunch of games."
DE 6-3, 256
|Oviedo (Fla.) High School|
|Rush end aims to disrupt pass-happy Big 12 offenses |
The three-star recruit played at only 236 pounds as a junior but grew to 256 by last summer and maintained his 4.7 speed in doing so. … Recruited by running backs coach Joe DeForest and former WVU defensive line coach Erik Slaughter, Owens committed to WVU on Sept. 29 over Georgia Tech and Iowa State, though he also holds offers from Wisconsin, Virginia, N.C. State, Cincinnati, Marshall and others. Owens told Rivals in January that Slaughter’s departure wouldn’t deter him from his commitment: "There is no way I’m changing my mind. Like it says on the wall, once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer."
LB 6-3, 200
|Jensen Beach (Fla.) High School|
|Rangy defender has sideline-to-sideline speed |
A three-star prospect projected to play the Spur linebacker in West Virginia’s 3-4 scheme, Preston could grow into an inside linebacker though he has the speed to play free safety. "He’s probably going to start off on special teams and let them put some more weight on his frame," said his high school coach Tim Caffey. "And he’ll maintain his speed even with 15 or 20 pounds because he’s that kind of athlete. He can rush, he can cover. He’s your classic hybrid linebacker."… Preston committed in October but subsequently visited Iowa State and Rutgers. Last week he told the Treasure Coast Palm newspapers he remains "solid to West Virginia," though opposing coaches from Vanderbilt, N.C. State, UCF and Marshall have continued to vie for his attention. He was recruited by Seider.
DB 6-2, 195
|Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College|
|Top-rated juco cornerback holds big-time offers |
Rated the No. 8 juco cornerback prospect, the three-star Myers holds offers from Georgia, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma State and Arizona. He has the size and mentality to be one of the Big 12’s most physical cornerbacks, though he also played safety at Hutchinson. … After committing in July, there was speculation Myers could graduate in December and enroll at WVU in time for spring semester, but that obviously didn’t come to fruition. Myers spent the 2011 season at Georgia Military College—a program familiar to lead recruiter Tony Gibson—before being dismissed and sitting out 2012. He bounced back last fall by intercepting seven passes in only seven games.
OL 6-5, 290
|Pierce (Calif.) Community College|
|Long-armed, athletic tackle could play right away |
A former high school tight end, the three-star prospect spent two years as a junior college starter at offensive tackle and figures to add immediate depth and athleticism to West Virginia’s line. … Recruited by WVU cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell, Scott committed in July and has not taken other visits despite picking up offers from Cincinnati, Kansas, Washington State, UT-San Antonio and Wyoming. He has three years to play two at WVU.
OL 6-6, 285
|Avon (Ohio) High School|
|Developing prospect brings potential |
A three-star prospect who has the agility to play for his high school basketball team, Rauterkus committed to West Virginia last July over Ohio. The late-bloomer figures to need a redshirt season in Morgantown before factoring more heavily into the offensive line rotation in 2015. Rauterkus is 4.0 student whose high school team was undefeated in the regular season before losing in the Division II state quarterfinals. His lead recruiter at WVU was Ron Cook.
DT 6-0, 286
|Aliquippa (Pa.) High School|
|Projected nose guard plays with nonstop hustle |
Fields chose West Virginia over Purdue, Cincinnati and Pitt just days after high school teammate Dravon Henry committed to the Mountaineers. The two-star prospect lacks ideal height but has a high-revving motor, which made for a productive prep career in which he was a four-year starter who made many plays in pursuit. He projects as a nose guard at WVU, where Gibson was his lead recruiter.
OL 6-5, 270
|Morgantown (W.Va.) High School|
|Local prospect pledged to WVU early |
West Virginia grabbed a hometown commitment from the two-star prospect who figures to pack on weight in order to contribute a couple seasons down the road. Brown immediately pledged to WVU last June after receiving his first offer and promptly proclaimed his recruitment finished, though Cincinnati, Oklahoma, UTEP and Akron also showed interest.
OL 6-6, 270
|Miramar (Fla.) High School|
|Former basketball player is an athletic project |
Committed since Jan. 26, Cajuste opted to follow his high school coach Damon Cogdell, who was hired by WVU mere days earlier. His two-star rating speaks less to his ceiling and more to the fact he played only one season of organized football. Other programs obviously see his potential, considering he picked offers from Florida and Oklahoma State to go along with the likes of Temple, Western Kentucky and Memphis. … Though his athleticism matches that of a defensive lineman, Cajuste figures to find a home at offensive tackle after using a developmental redshirt season.
OL 6-6, 330
|Philadelphia (Pa.) MLK High School|
|Big lineman still has WVU on his radar |
The three-star recruit was a two-way starter in high school, but projects to be an offensive tackle in college. He is ranked by Rivals as the No. 25 prospect in Pennsylvania, but other services have higher opinions—ESPN ranks him 10th in the state and 247Sports lists him 11th. … Angus also holds offers from Purdue, Florida, Rutgers and Temple.
QB 6-0, 205
|Riverside (Calif.) City College|
|Dual-threat quarterback became fast riser |
A year ago this time, Howard was a walk-on prepping for spring practice at Stephen F. Austin, where coaches eventually had him splitting reps at running back. He wound up going the juco route in hopes of proving he was D-I quarterback material, and 3,000 yards and 33 touchdowns later, he has enrolled at West Virginia. … The three-star prospect, who received a late-season offer via Mountaineers offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, was rated JCGridiron.com‘s fourth-rank dual-threat juco quarterback. He chose WVU over San Diego State and New Mexico State, though Utah and Cal were expressing interest. He has three seasons of eligibility left.
LB 6-3, 220
|Springfield (Ohio) High School|
|Linebacker projects at Buck position |
James presumed he was bound for Georgia Tech before an August visit to Morgantown changed his mind. He also was recruited by Cincinnati, Indiana and Purdue. … The three-star prospect projects at the Buck position at WVU but could wind up at inside linebacker. He actually spent his senior year of high school ball playing quarterback, which limited his defensive snaps. He finished with 32 tackles and one interception he returned for a touchdown.
LB 6-4, 215
|Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College|
|Former South Carolina recruit joins WVU |
A three-star prospect, Muldrow spent a redshirt season at South Carolina before two productive years in the junior college ranks. JCGridiron.com ranked him the nation’s No. 5 outside linebacker recruit. … Muldrow chose the Mountaineers over offers from Oregon, Tennessee, Arizona State, Kansas, Colorado and Iowa State. He enrolled at WVU in December with two years of eligibility remaining and figures to see playing time immediately.
WR 6-2, 200
|Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway High School|
|Physical receiver was first commitment for 2014 |
Committed since December 2012, the three-star recruit is the No. 20 prospect in Pennsylvania and the No. 94 receiver nationally, according to Rivals. He also fielded offers from Pitt and Rutgers, while Maryland, Penn State and Michigan showed interest. … "All along he really liked West Virginia," said Gateway High coach Terry Smith. "It’s a good fit especially if you’re a wide receiver. Coach Holgorsen has a history of producing high-end wide receivers and he’s always liked him from day one." Though Rogers primarily was recruited by Steve Dunlap—who subsequently was reassigned within the athletics department by Holgorsen—he stuck with the Mountaineers and enrolled for spring semester.
OL 6-6, 285
|Coahoma (Miss.) Community College|
|Lean juco prospect expects to compete at tackle |
The three-star junior college recruit is slender but sports long arms and could vie for immediate playing time at left tackle during spring drills. "He is long, lean and has great feet. He moves very well for his frame and is explosive at the point of attack," Rivals writer Keenan Cummings told MetroNews. "While he could stand to put on some weight, his size and athletic ability make him a quality pickup." … He committed to WVU in September and took only one more visit—to South Florida in November. He held offers from Texas Tech, Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Southern Miss and Memphis.
DB 5-11, 185
|Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College|
|WVU’s late offer flipped cornerback from Wisconsin |
A physical two-star cornerback, Richardson was leaning toward Wisconsin and heavily considering Iowa State before receiving a WVU offer in December. He also was recruited by Nebraska, Arizona State, Texas Tech, TCU, Indiana, Utah State and Memphis. … His speed and reach aren’t overly impressive, but recruiting analysts described him as solid in many areas and possessing good instincts.
DL 6-7, 290
|Philadelphia (Pa.) Globe Tech|
|UPDATE: Big-bodied juco lineman sticks with Illinois |
Ward committed to Illinois in December but remains on West Virginia’s radar. Rivals and ESPN rate Ward a three-star prospect, while 247Sports ranks him a four-star. 247Sports also ranks him the No. 6 junior college prospect in the nation . … Ward also holds offers from South Florida, Tennessee, Washington and Temple.
DE 6-5, 220
|Georgia Military College|
|UPDATE: Georgia Tech commit signs with Jackets |
Whitehead, a three-star NJCAA All-American, committed to Georgia Tech on Saturday but continues to hear from West Virginia. He made 19.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in leading Georgia Military College to the an 11-1 record and the NJCAA national title game. … He is the No. 8 juco weak-side defensive end nationally, according to 247Sports… The Lithonia, Ga., native spent a redshirt season at N.C. State before transferring to junior college.
WR 6-1, 175
|Homestead (Fla.) South Dade High School|
|UPDATE: Receiver sides with home-state Gators |
A three-star prospect, Worton plans to decide between Florida and WVU. He made 68 catches for 1,525 yards and 23 touchdowns during his final two prep seasons. Rivals ranks him as the No 71 overall recruit in Florida and the No. 70 receiver nationally in the 2014 class. … Worton also holds offers from Florida State, Ole Miss, Oregon and Vanderbilt.
DB 5-11, 190
|New Smyrna Beach (Fla.) High School|
|UPDATE: Committed to Wisconsin |
Rivals ranks him a three-star prospect, as do the other services. Most recruiters project him as a strong safety, though some schools believe he could play offense at the next level. (He ran for 855 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior, while making 24 catches for another 239 yards.) … A first-team Class 6A all-state player in Florida, Dixon is thought to be a Wisconsin lean and also holds offers from Auburn, Louisville, Arkansas, Michigan State, N.C. State, Purdue and Vanderbilt.