Welcome to our weekly wrap-up of everything happening with West Virginia football recruiting. In this edition, we discuss the Mountaineers’ recruiting plans as spring practice continues.
West Virginia was supposed to conduct its annual Gold-Blue spring game on Saturday.
But blustery, icy weather conditions coming into West Virginia on Saturday led to the Mountaineers to cancel the annual spring scrimmage afternoon.
Due to impending wintry weather being forecast for the Morgantown area on Saturday, April 7, the 2018 Gold-Blue Spring Football Game has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. https://t.co/e8fLpjDmqu
— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) April 5, 2018
What it means for top recruits who were expected to attend is unknown. The game will not be made up.
The most important visitor expected this weekend was Bryan Maurer, a 3-star quarterback from Ocala, Fla., who is judged by several recruiting services as the most likely West Virginia signee at the position in the Class of 2019.
Coach Dana Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Jake Spavital already have started welcoming several top recruits at the position. Sam Howell and Garrett Shrader both met with them in Morgantown in recent weeks. And Connor Bazelak has also been discussed but has made no plans to meet with the WVU coaches — as of yet.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Maurer has been linked with the Mountaineers from the beginning. He appears to have a strong rapport with Spavital.
After visiting North Carolina and North Carolina State last week, his visit to the Mountain State makes geographic sense. And he still could meet with Holgorsen and Spavital without the hoopla of the game.
Later, Maurer and his family plan trips to Florida and Ohio State during the spring. He’ll also look at Indiana and Boston College this summer.
247 Sports ranks him as the nation’s No. 18 ranking pro-style player and the 70th-best prospect in the state of Florida.
He could have seen Morgantown in its full football frenzy if the spring game had been played.
The West Virginia program was ready to roll out the red carpet to showcase the program in its best possible way when Maurer visits.
It will be interesting to see if the unusual April snowstorm puts a crimp in the recruitment of what is one of West Virginia’s most important targets.
West Virginia class rankings this week
With no new additions, the Mountaineers fell to No. 30 this week after being ranked No. 26 last week in the most recent 247 Sports composite team rankings. Their late slide pushes them to fifth among Big 12 schools for the Class of 2019, trailing TCU (No. 12 nationally), Iowa State (No. 13), Oklahoma (No. 14) and Texas (No. 17). Oklahoma dropped five spots after the de-commitment of running back Isaiah Spiller earlier this week.
Offensive line prospect Parker Moorer was in the midst of a busy spring break week spent visiting several potential college football playing options.
But Moorer was perhaps most excited about his opportunities after visiting West Virginia.
Moorer texted 247 Sports recruiting writer Chris Anderson with a strong endorsement of the WVU program after his visit.
“I loved it!!!,” Moorer texted Anderson. “West Virginia in Morgantown is straight football.”
Moorer projects as an offensive lineman by West Virginia coaches. The 6-5, 265-pound member of the Class of 2019 plays both ways at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, N.C.
His unofficial visit to West Virginia came several days after he visited Virginia Tech last weekend. He was similarly enthused during his trip to the Hokies, according to a report from 247Sports Virginia Tech recruiting analyst Evan G. Watkins.
Moorer described the Hokies’ athletic facilities as “amazing” during a visit he told Watkins “went well.”
The 3-star recruit visits Maryland later this week.
Offers, by the numbers
Reported offers: 173
5-star offers: 4
4-star offers: 43
In-state recruits offered: 5
Texas recruits offered: 6
Georgia recruits offered: 31
Florida recruits offered: 27
North Carolina recruits offered: 22
Ohio recruits offered: 17
Pennsylvania recruits offered: 17
OLB Dewayne Grantham, 3 stars, Martinsburg, W.Va.
OLB Lee Kpogba, 3 stars, Parkland (Winston Salem, N.C.)
K Kolton McGhee, 3 stars, Bishop Guilfoyle (Altoona, Pa.)
WR Deshon Stoudemire, 3 stars, Stephenson (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
DE Jalen Thornton, 3 stars, Indian Hill (Cincinnati, Ohio)
4 top uncommitted targets
3-star QB Brian Maurer, West Port (Ocala, Fla.)
Maurer is perceived as the Mountaineers’ top quarterback target and has been for several months. He was the first quarterback offered by the Mountaineers in the Class of 2019.
His proposed visit this week to Morgantown would have set the tone on whether he eventually chooses the Mountaineers.
Other potential schools for Maurer include Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, UCF and USF.
The Mountaineers have started offering other quarterbacks, but this appears to be window dressing. Maurer looks to be their top prospect for this recruiting class and has been for a long time.
And with the departures of backups David Israel and Chris Chugunov, the Mountaineers have three scholarship quarterbacks on their roster. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them add two players at the position this year, even before a Class of 2019 recruit such as Maurer would arrive at school.
3-star CB MJ Devonshire, Aliquippa, Pa.
Devonshire isn’t the biggest of recruits at 5-11 and 170 pounds, but his athleticism has caught the attention of West Virginia recruiters.
He reportedly shows his highest level of interest for the Mountaineers and Ohio State. But he also appears to have particular affinity for Maryland, Michigan State and Oregon State.
But West Virginia has been in his crosshairs since visiting the Mountaineers’ junior day in January. Most recently, he attended Syracuse’s junior day.
Devonshire received another offer from another Big Ten program after visiting Indiana last weekend.
And he holds a strong connection to the Mountaineers after they plucked former high school teammate Kwantel Raines, a 4-star recruit in the Class of 2018.
Devonshire ranks fifth among Pennsylvania recruits and 45th among cornerbacks nationally.
3-star S Amir Richardson, University (Morgantown, W. Va.)
In the Big 12, useful secondary personnel always is at a premium. And picking up one of the top in-state recruits would also enable Holgorsen’s staff to lock down the borders and keep out-of-state poachers away from the best local players.
Richardson is a 6-2, 200-pounder who has the physicality to play in the Big 12. After attending West Virginia’s junior day in February, he visited Kentucky last month, with an upcoming trip to inspect Temple soon. The hometown recruit also has received offers from Cincinnati, Marshall and four Ivy League schools.
Earlier this week, Richardson picked up his first ACC offer from Georgia Tech.
Blessed and humbled to recieve my 9th offer and 1st ACC offer from Georgia Tech to play WR!!🐝 pic.twitter.com/W8c2fdWVtd
— Amir Richardson🌹🦍 (@TheAmirRich) April 4, 2018
He ranks as the nation’s No. 78 safety and fourth-best recruit in the state.
Richardson has told 247Sports.com and others that he plans to delay his decision until the fall. He also has said he hopes to go to Penn State for a camp, along with upcoming visits to Louisville and Virginia Tech.
3-star ATH Winston Wright, Memorial Day School, Savannah, Ga.
The wispy 5-9, 170-pound Wright names the Mountaineers among his three finalists, along with Boston College and UCF.
Earlier this month, Wright made an unofficial visit to Florida State and appears to be keeping all of his options open.
Wright helps whoever he chooses as a receiver and returner. It sounds like the Mountaineers may be challenged from keeping him away from committing with an ACC school.
247Sports.com ranks him as the No. 66-rated athlete in the country and the No. 67 player from Georgia.
Here is a breakdown of the five Mountaineers signees to date by position. West Virginia expects to sign 26 players in this class.
WR: 1/4 (Stoudemire)
DL: 1/4 (Thornton)
OLB: 2/2 (Grantham, Kpogba)
K: 1/1 (McGhee)
Here is a breakdown of West Virginia’s four current commits by state:
Georgia: 1 (Stoudemire)
North Carolina: 1 (Kpogba)
Ohio: 1 (Thornton)
Pennsylvania: 1 (McGhee)
West Virginia: 1 (Grantham)
Miss a previous edition? Find our weekly West Virginia recruiting update here each week.