MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — In search of defensive plug-ins for 2017, West Virginia flipped a commitment from Northwest Mississippi Community College sophomore Quondarius Qualls on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker/defensive end originally committed to Southern Miss in August and is ranked a three-star prospect by Rivals. West Virginia assistant Joe Wickline gave Qualls his first Power Five offer.
While Northwest was winning the junior college national title last season, Qualls made a team-high 10 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and 67 tackles overall. His teammates in 2015 included current Mountaineers running back Justin Crawford and current nose tackle commitment Jalen Harvey.
West Virginia will be faced with replacing eight senior starters from this season’s defense, a second consecutive year of mass turnover. Thus, recruiting has been targeted — as many as 11 of the 16 commitments could end up on defense.
Qualls led Union Parish to the Louisiana Class 3A state championship as a junior, playing linebacker and receiver, before attending Northwest as a non-qualifier. Rivals reports he plans to enroll at WVU in December, where he will have three years to play two.