By Keenan Cummings
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia wanted one tight in the 2020 recruiting class — no more, no less.
The Mountaineers landed its top option on the board Friday when Wayne (N.J.) De Paul Catholic tight end Charles Finley selected WVU.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder didn’t receive an offer from WVU until mid-May, but things picked up hot and heavy between the two parties in the weeks that followed.
Finley made multiple visits to campus, including most recently for the July 25 cookout and a strong push by tight ends coach Travis Trickett helped to ultimately seal the deal for the fast-rising prospect. The Mountaineers assistant left no stone unturned in pursuit of Finley and developed a strong bond with him that allowed the program to seize momentum from several other schools.
The commitment is just the latest development in an eventful summer for Finley as he has raised his overall profile by dominating various camps and 7-on-7 passing events. The athletic tight end has reliable hands and has a combination of size and speed that makes him a difficult player to defend.
During that time Finley has added about two inches to his ever-growing frame and around 15 pounds while still maintaining the speed that made him a highly intriguing prospect to college coaches. He looks even bigger than his listed height due to an impressive wing-span that allows him to go up and attack the football once it’s in the air against smaller defenders.
The former wide receiver is a natural fit for what WVU wants to do at the position given his versatility to play in the slot and his developing physical element to handle the blocking aspects at tight end.
Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Analyst Adam Friedman has seen Finley multiple times in-person and believes he is only scratching the surface of what he could eventually become at the college level.
“He’s a blank slate. He’s got so much potential as a receiver and he’s got a lot to build on with his frame,” Friedman said. “He’s got the tools.”
The goal for Finley now is to continue to develop physically heading into his senior season and presents an opportunity for him to even further raise his profile against a loaded high school schedule.
For WVU, the program has now addressed the tight end spot not only for this year but the following cycle in Victor Wikstrom, a 2021 prospect from Sweden. The goal is to take around one per class in order to fill out that room with versatile athletes and both of those fit that bill.
The program is now up to 13 total pledges in the 2020 class and is expected to take around ten more, although there is always the option to count some scholarships ahead if needed.
The coaches made their one tight end pick count.