Mosey around the Puskar Center nowadays and you will find strategically placed pictures of Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin in the hall. On a counter top, there are a stack of fliers listing off all the 1,000 yard receivers Dana Holgorsen has coached. And on a laptop screen, there’s a well-constructed computer graphic listing off the entire St. Louis Rams receiving corps – all coached by current Mountaineer receiver coach, Lonnie Galloway.
WVU receivers coach Lonnie Galloway has prospects knocking down his door to be part of this class.
It’s no surprise then that wide receivers are knocking down the door, hoping to be a part of this 2014 recruiting class.
Four-star wideout Trevion Thompson has the Mountaineers in his top three, while Florida State commit C.J. Worton and Monroe Area (GA) athlete Stanton Truitt both have them in their top four. Four-star prospect Malik Hooker says WVU is a school he’s very interested in and he plans to visit soon, as does the nation’s 15th-ranked wideout, Johnnie Dixon.
Projected slot receivers Braxton Berrios and Brandon Powell each talk about West Virginia frequently and plan to visit at some point in the future. Both Buford’s (GA) Thomas Wilson and Booker T. Washington’s (FL) Lamar Parker have touted the Mountaineers as their clear-cut favorites, with Parker even hinting that a commitment was going to happen at his spring game.
Wilson’s teammate, Tre Neal, says WVU is one of his favorites and he plans to visit this summer. American Heritage’s (FL) Isaiah McKenzie has had West Virginia in some form of his top group for months now, and three-star prospect Jaylan Barbour just listed the Mountaineers in his final five.
Although he could eventually play safety at the next level, Elizabeth Forward (PA) star JaQuan Davidson will be in town on Friday and says West Virginia is his number one choice.
Heck, Coral Reef Senior (FL) wideout Jacob McCrary may top them all, recruiting on behalf of the Mountaineers already, as he eyes a return visit to Touchdown City in the coming weeks.
Two things are clear – all of these players will sign with a BCS level team come February, and all have the ability to dominate the college game.
The one murky aspect to all of this is who is going to be in this class, and who is going to be shut out.
West Virginia only has ten scholarship seniors in this class, with five “open” scholarships by my count. With standard college football attrition, that means the 2014 class is likely going to be between 18 and 21 players. That’s for the entire team, though, so one would reasonably expect this wide receiver class to only be three players deep, maybe four.
Not only that, but one of those spots is already spoken for – Gateway (PA) wide receiver Ricky Rogers pounced on an early offer back in December, before the staff had even finished with the 2013 class.
Who takes up those final couple of spots is really anyone’s guess (actually, my Crystal Ball says McCrary, Parker and Davidson), and in some instances, could come down to who is willing to pull the trigger and announce for WVU first.
It may make for some tough decisions and will likely result in several prospects being shut out of this class that would have been marquee names in prior years.
One thing is for certain, though, this is a "problem" the coaching staff will love having going forward.