MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Three members of West Virginia’s 2019 signing class are not yet enrolled at the school, including the top-rated player in the entire class.
Osita Smith, a four-star safety who ranked as the best player in West Virginia’s class according to 247Sports’ composite rating of all recruiting sites, is the most notable absentee. The loss of Smith would be a double blow to the Mountaineers based on the potential playing time available to him this season in the wake of starters Kenny Robinson and Derrek Pitts leaving the program last month.
Another safety, 6-foot-5 Rashean Lynn, also did not enroll for the second summer session. The third player who did not report is Brandon Yates, an offensive lineman from Las Vegas.
A school spokesperson confirmed that those three players have not enrolled.
Registration is complete for the second summer session, which leaves only a couple of chances for the players to still join the program.
There is a three-week, online-only session that begins on July 15. After that, any additional players joining the program would not be able to do so until fall registration begins on Aug. 19 — just 12 days before the season opener against James Madison. The final deadline to get into school is Aug. 27.
Neal Brown was hailed for keeping Dana Holgorsen’s final recruiting class intact in the weeks between his hire and the February signing period. Now four of the 25 players who signed with the Mountaineers are at risk of never making it to campus. The fourth, wide receiver Terence Doston, was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers and elected to pursue a career in professional baseball.
The class was already ranked 47th nationally and seventh in the Big 12 prior to potentially losing those four recruits.
Three players recruited to plug those leaks enrolled at WVU this week.
Defensive lineman Reuben Jones announced his graduate transfer from Michigan the day after Doston signed with the Brewers.
Another, cornerback Tacorey Turner, was originally expected to blueshirt this season and enroll in August. Instead, he has enrolled ahead of schedule and will be considered part of the 2019 class. Turner, a Montgomery, Ala. native, originally committed to Brown’s coaching staff at Troy before switching to West Virginia. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Turner is the tallest cornerback on the roster.
Junior college safety Noah Guzman was brought in to help patch the wound left by four absentee safeties. Guzman played quarterback and wide receiver in high school before switching to safety for at Cerritos Community College in an attempt to earn a Division I scholarship. The 6-foot, 203-pound Guzman is a sophomore who still has a redshirt season available, though the void at his position means there is a chance he won’t be activating that redshirt.