This Mountaineers class is ranked by Rivals.com just outside the Top 50, at No. 51. While that’s below what the Mountaineers have done in recent classes, their 2012 class was also outside the Top 50 and that turned out to include Karl Joseph, KJ Dillon, Tyler Orlosky, and others.
Leave it to Dana Holgorsen to rip the whole recruiting process and all the services by saying, “I get such a kick out of all these recruiting services, recruiting rankings and who’s got the top class. They think this kid is better than that kid but it’s nothing but someone’s opinion. We don’t pay attention to recruiting rankings and quite honestly, that’s for fans.”
Dana for President 2020?
He’s right for the most part, but it’s like a bad habit that fans and media members can’t kick. So, let’s take a look at more of the details in this Mountaineers class.
The star of the West Virginia Mountaineers 2017 recruiting class: S Derek Pitts (Charleston, WV)
The Mountaineers got Pitts to flip from Penn State and that was important for two reasons: 1) he’s an in-state guy and 2) he’s the team’s only 4-star player in the class.
In speaking about Pitts and fellow recruit Kenny Robinson, Holgorsen said, “They are very long, athletic guys who can run. They can play corner. Some can grow into outside linebackers. We try to recruit as many of those guys as we can.”
Pitts is 6’1”, 180 pounds and had offers from Clemson, Florida, Oklahoma, Tennessee and many others. His strengths are considered to be his length and athleticism and many wouldn’t be surprised to see him move to outside linebacker as he fills out in college.
The best position group of the West Virginia Mountaineers 2017 recruiting class: defensive line
The Mountaineers welcome in two defensive ends and three defensive tackles. Quondarius Qualls (Northwest Mississippi CC) is a defensive end that the coaching staff has high expectations for. Qualls is already enrolled in Morgantown after an outstanding season where he racked up 16.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He was teammates in 2015 with WVU RB Justin Crawford and with the Mountaineers losing 8 starters on defense, expect Qualls to get an early look.
Joining Qualls is teammate Jalen Harvey, a massive 6’3”, 335-pound defensive tackle. Harvey will have a chance to replace the huge hole left by graduating nose tackle Darrien Howard. Then there’s incoming local product Darius Stills, son of former NFL player Gary Stills, who we spent time interviewing. Stills told us he is ready to compete immediately.
Add in Ezekiel Rose (Scooba, MS) and Lamonte McDougal (Plantation, FL) and you have five quality players who all have a chance to play sooner than later on the defensive line.
The West Virginia Mountaineers 2017 recruiting class could use more depth at: running back
Now in all fairness, the Mountaineers don’t have an immediate need at running back, so it makes sense to not over-recruit this position. They will welcome back Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy next season, along with players who haven’t seen much run at all including Brady Watson, Martell Pettaway, and Jashawn Banks.
But, they only have one incoming running back in Tevin Bush, a 3-star player from New Orleans, who picked WVU over Arkansas, Louisville and others… and he may not even play running back. There has been speculation that Bush could be the next Tavon Austin.
Bush has a size similar to Austin, 5’8”, 170-pounds, and he also played wide receiver in high school. He has 4.4-speed and could very well see time at kick returner or punt returner next season.
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