Welcome to our weekly wrap-up of everything happening with West Virginia football recruiting. In this edition, we discuss the Mountaineers’ recruiting plans as the Mountaineers prepare for their one-day camp in Morgantown on Monday.
The nation is noticing how West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen and coordinator Jake Spavital are developing their quarterbacks.
Their work with Will Grier transformed the former Florida transfer into perhaps the nation’s top quarterback heading into the 2018 season.
It has been noticed by 4-star quarterback Michael Johnson Jr. of Sheldon High School in Eugene (Ore.)
Johnson is the son of Oregon receivers coach Michael Johnson. His father is well-traveled during his coaching career with a brief stint as the interim coach at UCLA in 2011. The elder Johnson earlier was the offensive coordinator for the Bruins and the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, along with other college and professional stops.
His son remains one of the nation’s most attractive uncommitted quarterback. His running and passing skills have led the 6-foot-2½, 192-pound standout to be favorably compared to Lamar Jackson at a similar career stage.
Recruiting reporter Greg Biggins of 247Sports.com reports Johnson is headed on his first official recruiting trip this weekend to Penn State.
— PSU Football U (@psufootballu) June 4, 2018
But that’s where it gets interesting.
Johnson mentions the Mountaineers among the programs he hopes to visit later this summer.
“I’m going to Penn State June 8-10,” Johnson told Biggins. “The only visit I have set up so far but I want to visit N.C. State, West Virginia and Miami and I’m going to take an unofficial visit to Nebraska. The plan is to make a decision at the end of June but I might push that back to July if I’m not able to get all my visits in.”
West Virginia’s recruiting at quarterback for the Class of 2019 has been scrambled.
But attracting late interest from a quarterback with the national prestige of Johnson is a strong sign of respect for the Mountaineers.
Johnson passed for 1,218 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for 745 yards and 12 touchdowns last season as a junior.
He lists as the nation’s No. 200 prospect in the most recent 247Sports composite prospect rankings. It also earned him then No. 4 national ranking among dual-threat quarterbacks and the No. 1 ranking among prospects in the state of Oregon.
West Virginia class rankings this week
With no additions, the Mountaineers fell to No. 52 this week, after being ranked No. 48 last week in the 247Sports composite team rankings. It marked the 11th consecutive week the Mountaineers’ ranking has dropped.
The slide pushes them to seventh among Big 12 schools for the Class of 2019. They trail No. 2 Oklahoma (unchanged), No. 12 Texas (up from No. 15), No. 18 TCU (uncharged from last week) No. 30 Iowa State (down from No. 29), No. 34 Baylor (down from No. 31) and No. 36 Oklahoma State (down from No. 35).
Wispy 6-foot, 170-pound running back Glover Cook of Vanguard High School in Ocala, Fla., is showing renewed interest in the Mountaineers.
Cook includes the Mountaineers in his group of 10 finalists. The major reason, he tells 247Sports recruiting writer Chris Anderson, is his association with Marquel Blackwell.
The new West Virginia running backs coach has done a strong pitch to Cook.
“I have a good relationship with Coach Blackwell,” Cook tells Anderson. “It’s a school I want to visit and learn about while I’m there and see how I like it.”
Cook is a 3-star prospect. He is the 911th-best national player, No. 61 among national running backs and No. 114 among Florida prospects, according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings.
Offers, by the numbers
Reported offers: 216
5-star offers: 4
4-star offers: 46
In-state recruits offered: 5
Texas recruits offered: 6
Georgia recruits offered: 43
Florida recruits offered: 33
North Carolina recruits offered: 31
Ohio recruits offered: 21
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)
4 top uncommitted targets
3-star QB Brian Maurer, West Port, Ocala, Fla.:
Brian Maurer seemingly remains 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. He visited the program in April and appeared set to headline the class.
Instead, Maurer made it known he wanted to visit other programs. That decision led West Virginia to cease communications with him for several weeks.
No members of the West Virginia staff visited him during the spring’s evaluation period.
But now Spavital has renewed his pitch, informing Maurer he remains highly valued by the West Virginia program.
Ohio State and Texas A&M are interested in Maurer. The Aggies were the most recent program to offer Maurer a scholarship earlier this week.
3-star CB MJ Devonshire, Aliquippa, Pa.:
The recruiting battle for MJ Devonshire involving Ohio State and West Virginia appears to be heating up.
The Buckeyes and Mountaineers are considered the favorites for the 5-11, 170-pound Devonshire.
His tradition-rich program at Aliquippa High School has produced a boatload of NFL stars. Most notable on that list includes Mike Ditka, Ty Law, Sean Gilbert and Darrelle Revis.
Devonshire picked up an offer last week from Pitt. It took the Panthers several months to decide to offer a player who developed in their backyard.
During a recent trip to Morgantown, Devonshire was impressed with the Mountaineers’ team-building exercises. While there, he had a chance to play dodgeball with his old friend, former high school teammate and West Virginia freshman safety Kwantel Raines.
“It’s a great fit because one, Kwantel [Raines] is going,” Devonshire told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. “The chemistry between us would be there, and he’ll be able to help me with the defense coming in.”
Some have speculated that Raines’ commitment to the Mountaineers might have been the reason why Pitt slow-played offering Devonshire.
His national profile skyrocketed when he earned the MVP award last month among all defensive backs at The Opening Massillon, Ohio regional.
After that camp, Devonshire soared from 11th to fifth among Pennsylvania recruits, according to the 247Sports composite ratings. He also rose from 50th to 37th among cornerbacks nationally.
Other schools he is considering include Indiana, Michigan State and Maryland.
3-star T Jonathan Allen, Dunbar, Dayton, Ohio:
The Mountaineers’ hopes of getting Jonathan Allen could appear more daunting as he attends Ohio State’s summer camp this weekend.
The Buckeyes offered the 6-6, 315-pound tackle last week. Ohio State coaches like his combination of size and footwork.
Ohio State is expected to take five to six offensive linemen in its upcoming class, according to 247Sports analyst Bill Greene.
Cincinnati and Wisconsin also appear to be among the leading suitors for Allen, who ranks as the No. 17 prospect in Ohio and the state’s No. 2 tackle, according to the 247Sports composite.
3-star RB Tyler Goodson, North Gwinnett, Suwanee, Ga.
After being extremely vocal about his interest in West Virginia, running back Tyler Goodson is checking out other schools.
Most recently, he spent last weekend at Wake Forest’s camp.
Wake forest this weekend‼️🎩 #GoDeacs
— Tyler Goodson(Tgood) (@tgood1110) June 1, 2018
Earlier, he was intrigued with Michigan State after initially listing the Mountaineers as his No. 1 choice.
Goodson was offered by Michigan State co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner last month, 247Sports recruiting reporter Sean Scherer reported.
His top 8 consists of West Virginia, Kentucky, Iowa, Nebraska, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Washington State and Michigan State.
An array of West Virginia coaches have visited Goodson in recent weeks. Goodson’s productive wide receiver teammate Josh Downs also has been offered by the Mountaineers, according to 247Sports.
Among Goodson’s upcoming visits are trips to Nebraska, Iowa State and Michigan State. A decision looms before the season starts.
Goodson ranks No. 39 among running back recruits in the nation and is the No. 62 prospect in the state of Georgia.
Here is a breakdown of the Mountaineers commits 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 five 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.