MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia quarterback commitment Chris Chugunov has heard a few recruiting pitches, and not just from college coaches.

Some of New Jersey’s powerhouse prep programs reportedly made it clear they would welcome Chugunov’s transfer. Yet the senior from Skillman, N.J., hasn’t been tempted to leave Montgomery High, a school that has produced one Division I signee in its 12-year history.

“There are some big-time programs in our area that said ‘We want you to come play here and you’ll get 10 times the exposure,'” he said. “But I grew up playing ball with my boys at Montgomery and I’m not going to leave them to chase a scholarship somewhere else.”

Chugunov claims his chase is over after pledging to West Virginia.

“Coach (Shannon) Dawson said my film was good, but in person the ball just flies off my hand. I was throwing some 18-yard comebacks from the opposite hash and he said, ‘You make it look easy.'” — West Virginia commitment Chris Chugunov

While 14 FCS schools had been recruiting the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, his lone major-college offer came last Sunday after a passing camp in Morgantown. The Rivals three-star prospect said Mountaineers coaches asked him to commit immediately, and he followed through 24 hours later upon returning home and discussing the decision with family members.

NJ.com/Times of Trenton

Montgomery High’s Chris Chugunov of Skillman,N.J., is the first quarterback commitment of the 2015 class for West Virginia.

Chugunov caught West Virginia’s attention during the spring evaluation period as offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson made the rounds.

“He came over here in May to watch me, when there were a bunch of FCS-level coaches on hand but no other FBS guys,” Chugunov said. “Coach Dawson said my film was good, but in person the ball just flies off my hand. I was throwing some 18-yard comebacks from the opposite hash and he said, ‘You make it look easy.’

“He said he wanted me to go down to the camp at West Virginia and show the other coaches the same thing I showed him.”

As the first quarterback committed to the Mountaineers’ 2015 class, Chugunov said Dawson left the door open to signing another.

“He’s not sure whether they’re going to take one or two quarterbacks this year, but either way it doesn’t matter,” Chugunov said. “I’m expecting to have to go in there and compete at my best.”

West Virginia’s roster features two senior quarterbacks in Clint Trickett and Paul Millard, along with sophomore transfer Skyler Howard and freshman newcomer William Crest, a four-star recruit laden with star potential.

Chugunov interacted with Crest at a few recruiting events last year and said, “He seemed like a really cool kid.”

WVU GAMBLES ON OVERLOOKED QB
Montgomery High coach Zolan Milich spotted Chugunov’s potential in middle school and has watched him develop as a starter during back-to-back winning seasons.

During an appearance on MetroNews “Sportsline,” Milich said major-conference programs overlooked a legitimate prospect.

“We’re not a powerhouse, but there are parochial schools in North Jersey that are powerhouses, and if Chris was there, he would have 20 to 30 offers,” the coach said. “But he wanted to make sure that we became winners.”

That loyalty hasn’t surfaced merely in the win column. The highlight film Dawson and other FBS recruiters saw was lacking some of Chugunov’s most impressive deep throws—omitted at his insistence because teammates dropped them.

Despite Milich encouraging him to include the plays, Chugunov said, “I didn’t want to give anybody bad publicity.”

“The FCS schools were all flying in there and said ‘We think he’s a BCS kid and we don’t understand why he doesn’t have 20 offers.'” — Chugunov’s high school coach Zoran Milich

Syracuse reportedly was among the major programs reluctant to be the first to offer Chugunov. “They told me, ‘If someone offers him, let us know,'” Milich said. “With the BCS guys, it’s follow the leader.

“The FCS schools were all flying in there and said ‘We think he’s a BCS kid and we don’t understand why he doesn’t have 20 offers.'”

Regardless of whether WVU’s confidence convinces other schools to follow suit, Chugunov pronounced his recruitment closed. Now he’s focused on his senior season and playing with his boys at Montgomery.

“Hopefully,” he said, “we can pull it all together this season.”

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Comments

  • Chris

    OB is only as good as the team is WVU needs a good OL and a running game they will be fine.

  • Rick55

    Sounds good so far but there are too many ifs as a HS senior.

    Eerily reminiscent of Eron Harris' recruitment. We made the first major college offer, it worked ok for a minute but if he can play, other schools will offer somewhere along the way, either before he comes, or he may be tempted to transfer.

    Expect the worst but hope for the best.

  • jay zoom

    at the end of the season it will be the same old story (WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR) were probably the only Big 12 school and maybe in the nation that has no Idea or even a clue who the starting Quarterback will be. we have a Quarterback (maybe) for the future in the 2015 class but its not set in stone. As long as the coaches have the attitude just to look down the road. WVU will be at the bottom of the big 12 for quite sometime and as long as DANA, HUGGINS, AND OLLIE are leading the pack in the Athletic offices at this University once again (4-8) if were lucky. THANKS OLLIE

    • farm kid

      jay, I am going to type very slowly so you can understand . Ok? there were two highly successful schools that came into the big 12 two years ago. WVU and TCU, they both have the same record in those two years. at WVU'S cup board was bare. the team looked like the steelers in 1969 1 and 13. in six years the steelers won their first super bowl. on jay, sit back relax buy some season tickets, donate to the MAC and enjoy the mountaineers. Oh yea how many years have you coached?

      • WvuOverMu

        Everyone is focused on the QB as the main problem. No they are not great decent at best, but the receiving core is terrible. I haven't seen a handful of receivers lay out for a ball or go up and fight for the ball. That would go along ways in building confidence of a QB.

      • Rick S.

        I don't know either Jay or you, but I would guess you have both coached the same amount of years -- zero.

    • richard

      IDIOT!

    • J the C

      You established yourself as a know nothing long ago.

  • don

    Sure hope this kid works out cause we sure do.need a quarterback. This year looks like a carbon copy of last year, if we"'re lucky. I don't see Trickett finishing the Alabama game. Will be sickening to watch the Alabama defense mangle him.

  • Don

    Looks good on film ... now we just need to secure his signing and get some coach's that can coach and win some games

  • GoEers

    Notorious when referring to Mountaineer fans, don't say we. I've read several of your posts and you are nothing but a no good WVU hater/envious Marshall fan.

    If you were a real fan, you would know that Millard was brought in because the cupboard was bare at QB when Holgorsen came to WVU. Ford Childress was a 4 star QB who was also offered by FSU and Texas. Clint Trickett was brought in based on having QB experience as he threw for over 300 yards against Clemson while starting a few games for FSU. Clint Trickett spent most of the year injured but still managed to have great games against OSU and Texas.

    If you don't have anything good to say about WVU's players and coaches then just keep your mouth shut and go troll some other team that you don't care about.

    • notorious

      Pointing out the fact that Dana Holgorsen has been here 4 years and hasn't recruited a serviceable QB makes me a realist, not a MU fan.

      This team has a stable full of talented RB's. That's about it. Its too bad that weak OLine play and worse QB play won't give them many open running lanes.

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Ole Sasquatch seems to agree - good prospect from the film. Although I am pulling for Skyler Howard - this mostly because I do not trust the offensive line after last year - he has the feet to extend the play, and is advancing in learning the system; but I did'nt see the name of the QB transfer from Fairmont's name listed above.
    In fairness - I admit - he looked just a little better than the other two in the Spring game. Let's not slight him yet. He may be a super hard worker with the maturity and strength to pull this out.

    • notorious

      If Howard plays a down this year, it will be a disaster. Holgy boy will get canned.

      • Ole Sasquatch

        Here is what Ole Sasquatch envisions. Defenses blitzing our QBs' and they are being pulled down from behind. Our receivers are not getting open. Enter the Skyler Man. Now no matter how bad the offensive line is blocking - The Skyler is just to quick to get a hand on,
        plays are being extended, the entire defense is wearing down, receivers are coming open.
        We tie it up in the last few seconds, go to overtime but they just can't get to the Skyler and every one is eventually coming open. In a huge upset - We Win. You become a happy man.

        • notorius

          We as fans have learned nothing. We all saw Millard's highlights and thought he was a steal. He put up huge numbers playing 5A football in Texas. "Why did nobody else offer this guy!?", we said. Four years later, we know why.

          There's usually a reason why big schools don't offer a kid. The fact that we keep on bringing on QB's with no other high major offers should be a red flag. We found that out the hard way with Millard. Howard looked lost in the spring. Again, there was a reason no high majors offered him out of high school OR junior college.

          This staff sucks at evaluating QB's. Millard, Rawlins, Childress, Howard, Trickett...its not good.

          • Aaron

            I didn't think he was a steal. I though he was a system QB who happen to know Holgs system and would make practice throws and be a capable back up.

  • Mountaineer Fanatic

    He looks really good. However, I am anxious to hear about how William Crest is doing. Has he gotten to WVU yet? Has he practiced yet? When will we hear about him? Really do not want to see another year with the same thing we had last year. At least tell us how things are for 2014-2015. Hopefully, Crest will be so good that others will learn behind him for awhile. LETS GOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS!!!!!!!

  • Greg

    Syracuse vs Duke or Wake Forest inside a tin can in front of 25k fans? Or WVU vs Texas or OU EVERY YEAR outdoors in front of 60k+ fans on national TV? You make the call.

    • Rick S.

      I have never been to the Carrier Dome, but from seeing it on television, it looks like a morbid place to watch a football game.

      I hope you are right about the 60,000+ fans. Last season, WVU's average home attendance was 52,910. Syracuse's average home attendance was 38,277.

      • John

        I have been there and it is an awful venue for both football and basketball.

  • RPP

    No disrespect to the young recruit but it doesn't take much to impress Shannon Dawson.

    • richard

      i agree RPP.

  • notorious

    This staff has yet to recruit a decent QB. Now they offer a kid that no other D1 program offered.

    It is difficult to get excited about any QB they bring in, given their track record.

    • Aaron

      I recall when Va Tech fans said many of the same things about Frank Beamer.

  • richard

    i think WVU got a steal here. he may put up some big time numbers. maybe lead WVU to some wins. welcome bud.

  • Aaron

    If the attitude is genuine, I would say West Virginia has an outstanding young character athlete coming to Morgantown. I know on film he did look good with accurate throws and outstanding touch, it will be interesting to see what he can do in person.

    • Aaron

      A point to his accuracy. If you compare the picture that is on the home page today, right arm back and ready to throw, left arm up with 4 fingers straight up, thumb up to the initial story in which he was throwing without a helmet in camp, the form is identical. I would imagine that his left harm extends to his "target" hence the accuracy.

      I know there are those out there questioning this "offer" but in the world of college football, even though often times no more than 2-3 QB's see action during season, top division 1 programs need 5 quarterbacks in camp to throw to a plethora of receivers who need work as well. You also have to have QB's to "mimmick" opposing teams during practice thus the need for offers like this.

      I like the fact that this young many understands that not only is WV still pursuing other QB's in his class, he realizes there is a more highly recruited QB one year ahead of him yet he's still unwavering in his commitment. Understanding that in today's college world of transfers he may not be entering his senior season 5 years from now but for the time being, he's shown a willingness to compete. That is impressive given that so many will kids will not go to a program that has established QB's or other recruits.

    • Aaron

      A point to his accuracy. If you compare the picture that is on the home page today, right arm back and ready to throw, left arm up with 4 fingers straight up, thumb cocked to the initial story in which he was throwing without a helmet in camp, the form is identical. I would imagine that his left harm extends to his "target" hence the accuracy.

      I know there are those out there questioning this "offer" but in the world of college football, even though often times no more than 2-3 QB's see action during season, top division 1 programs need 5 quarterbacks in camp to throw to a plethora of receivers who need work as well. You also have to have QB's to "mimmick" opposing teams during practice thus the need for offers like this.

      I like the fact that this young many understands that not only is WV still pursuing other QB's in his class, he realizes there is a more highly recruited QB one year ahead of him yet he's still unwavering in his commitment. Understanding that in today's college world of transfers he may not be entering his senior season 5 years from now but for the time being, he's shown a willingness to compete. That is impressive given that so many will kids will not go to a program that has established QB's or other recruits.

  • Dave

    Yes.

  • Badleagle

    It's good to see a young man committed to his teammates and school above himself and to not show the highlights of his deep passes because he didn't want to show his teammates in a bad light, that's class! If he does stay true to his word and comes to WVU then we have a person of character unlike some who run to other programs to better themselves, not the team.

    • Greg hayes

      Good comment you made very good sence about the kid.i love a person that's committed to team and not self.

    • William101

      I am thrilled with Chug's commitment. Everyone is enamored with running QBs, and they certainly can buy more time and stretch a defense. But an accurate thrower with a quick release who can read defenses can win big time.

      I think you need both types of QBs, and you let them compete to see who wins the job.

      • Basilean

        Anyone remember a class act with the quickest release of all time . . . named Dan Marino? With the receivers and running backs we're attracting, that caliber of quarterback would bring a lot of excitement back to Mountaineer Field.

        • Misterman

          Mark Bulger?