MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After an impressive passing performance Sunday at West Virginia’s camp, New Jersey quarterback Chris Chugunov received his first power-conference scholarship offer. One day later he committed to the Mountaineers.
Rated by Rivals as a three-star pro-style quarterback, the 6-foot-1, 188-pound Chugunov said he called Dana Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson on Monday afternoon to confirm his pledge.
The class of 2015 prospect—who held an offer from Western Michigan and 13 FCS programs including Towson, Delaware and William & Mary—told Rivals he considers his recruiting finished.
“It’s my word,” Chugunov said. “I’m pumped to be a Mountaineer and be part of the West Virginia program and thank you to the West Virginia program for believing in me.”
Rivals writer Keenan Cummings of WVSports.com said West Virginia coaches had been fond of Chugunov for several months.
“Chugunov impressed West Virginia during the spring when the coaches made their way to watch him throw during the evaluation period,” Cumming said. “He repeated that performance with a strong effort at Sunday’s one-day camp, showing a great combination of arm strength and accuracy.
“Chugunov gets the ball out of his hands quickly and makes smart decisions with the football—two very important traits in the West Virginia offense.”
With home-state program Rutgers showing only token interest, the lack of major-college offers for Chugunov puzzled quarterback guru Chris Malleo. In April the founder of The Quarterback Fraternity mentoring service called Chugunov “the most under-recruited kid on the East Coast, if not in the entire country.”
While Chugunov lacks prototypical height, his coach at Montgomery High in Skillman, N.J., said he also suffered from a 48-percent completion rate as a junior that included a pedestrian 12-to-eight ratio of touchdowns to interceptions.
“In the middle of last season we were averaging eight drops per game,” Montgomery coach Zoran Milich told NJ.com. “If we catch some of those passes, Chugs is well over 2,000 yards.
“He is a bright, intelligent kid, who is a leader. He is going to play someplace, but the school that gets him is going to be amazed just how much better he is once they get him into their system.”
With freshman William Crest starting starting classes Monday and junior college transfer Skyler Howard having three seasons of eligibility left, Chugunov might be the only quarterback West Virginia signs in the 2015 class.
With 11 commitments, Rivals currently ranks the Mountaineers’ class 17th in the nation.