The Lunch: In-state recruiting gains acclaim for 2017

South Charleston defensive back Derrek Pitts, rated a four-star prospect by Rivals, headlines a better-than-usual 2017 recruiting class in the state of West Virginia.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When it comes to FBS recruits, West Virginia typically has been a fly-over, drive-around or ignore-entirely state. However, talent has spiked for the Class of 2017, with five players landing multiple offers from Power 5 schools.

During the previous seven years, Rivals has evaluated four in-state prospects at three stars or higher. The upcoming class? It includes five:

4-star safety Derrek Pitts of South Charleston
3-star linebacker Dorian Etheridge of Capital
3-star offensive lineman Billy Ross of Huntington
3-star offensive lineman Riley Locklear of Spring Valley
3-star linebacker Maverick Wolfley of Morgantown

“It’s one of the rare times West Virginia has inherent advantages,” said Rivals senior writer Keenan Cummings. “Most of these kids grew up rooting for West Virginia, so (WVU coaches) don’t have to sell them on the program and thy don’t use to enter their recruitment knowing they won’t be first.

“I think that West Virginia has to try to keep the majority of the in-state guys home. They’ve got Maverick Wolfley to the point where other schools that would’ve offered have given up. Now if they can sign at least three of the other four, they’ll be in good shape.”

Hear more of what Cummings has to say about the home-state players in today’s Gold & Blue Lunch Report.

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