Welcome to our weekly wrap-up of everything happening with West Virginia football recruiting. In this edition, we discuss the Mountaineers’ recruiting plans as their coaches head towards the upcoming dead period for recruiting next weekend.
West Virginia’s recruiting network is spreading wider as more players across the nation hear about the Mountaineers’ emerging national program.
Among the latest to be captivated with what Dana Holgorsen has going was athlete Fabian McCray of Phillips Academy in Chicago.
The 6-foot-1, 177-pound 3-star athlete is intrigued with how the program has developed wide receivers in the past.
“I’m not very familiar with them, but I know Tavon Austin went there,” McCray told 247 Sports recruiting reporter Chris Anderson. “I don’t know when I’m going up there, but I’m trying to go up there this summer, maybe even for an official (visit).”
Although he’s never visited Morgantown, McCray already is listing West Virginia among his current favorites. The Mountaineers join Illinois and Minnesota on his most recent list of top choices.
He plans to visit the Illini and Gophers in upcoming trips. He also plans to check out Iowa State, Rutgers and Kentucky.
McCray said he plans to make his college choice before the season starts. The Class of 2019 member is aiming for the start of August.
It’s a good sign for the Mountaineers when players far from their traditional recruiting area show interest in Holgorsen’s program.
And McCray’s quick regard for the West Virginia is a promising sign for future recruiting.
West Virginia class rankings this week
With no additions, the Mountaineers fell to No. 61 this week in the 247Sports composite team rankings after being ranked No. 52 last week. It marked the 12th consecutive week the Mountaineers’ ranking has dropped. They have not picked up a new commitment during that span.
The slide pushes them to seventh among Big 12 schools for the Class of 2019. They trail No. 3 Oklahoma (down from No. 2), No. 13 Texas (down from No. 12), No. 19 TCU (down from No. 18) No. 31 Iowa State (down from No. 30), No. 32 Oklahoma State (up from No. 36) and No. 38 Baylor (down from No. 34).
The Mountaineers are looking for production in the middle of their offensive line.
It makes sense for them to consider 6-2, 287-pound center Trent Holler from Greater Latrobe High School in nearby Latrobe, Pa.
Holler has come along after recent strong efforts at summer camps. Those performances persuaded Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and the Mountaineers to become involved with his recruitment.
The Mountaineers and Cincinnati project him as a center. Pitt sees him as a defensive tackle.
The development is a bit of a surprise; West Virginia was not expected to recruit a center this season. But Holler’s unexpected development and West Virginia’s need for increased depth account for his offer from them.
Holler is not ranked in the most recent 247 Sports composite.
Offers, by the numbers
Reported offers: 217
5-star offers: 4
4-star offers: 51
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: 18
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 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 last May. 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, West Virginia offensive coordinator Jake 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. A&M still hasn’t signed a quarterback in the Class of 2019. The Aggies’ interest and national profile is picking up as new coach Jimbo Fisher settles into his job there.
Spavital knows all about the Aggies after serving as their co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2013. He was their offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach under Kevin Sumlin in 2014-2015 before they mutually parted ways in early 2016. He coached the 2016 season at California before coming to West Virginia.
— Brian Maurer (@maurerera_2) June 5, 2018
The renewed interest in Maurer comes on the heels of his big effort two weeks ago at the Nike Elite 11 Finals in Redondo Beach, Calif. He is among the top 12 quarterback slots at The Opening Finals in Dallas on June 29-July 3.
Maurer remains one of only two Elite 11 quarterbacks who are uncommitted. The other is Jayden Daniels of San Bernardino, Calif. His recent surge has propelled him to the No. 483 prospect in the nation, the 19th-ranked pro-style quarterback prospect and the No. 63 player in Florida in 247 Sports.com’s most recent composite rankings.
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 are 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, but they appear to be making up ground.
His national profile skyrocketed when he earned the MVP award last month among all defensive backs at The Opening Massillon, Ohio regional.
Devonshire ranks No. 442 nationally, No. 41 among cornerbacks and No. 7 among Pennsylvania recruits, according to 247 Sports.com’s composite rankings.
Other schools he is considering include Indiana, Michigan State and Maryland.
His athleticism and willingness to attack receivers in press coverage make him an intriguing prospect. His return ability provides an additional value boost.
3-star T Jonathan Allen, Dunbar, Dayton, Ohio: Jonathan Allen earned an offer after visiting Ohio State’s football camp last week.
But he hasn’t committed to the most notable football power in his home state. That alone should be good news for West Virginia.
Ohio State coaches like his combination of size and footwork. But West Virginia coaches particularly like what the 6-6, 315-pound offensive tackle prospect can do in pass blocking.
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 suddenly has developed strong interest in attending Iowa.
Goodson will make his announcement on July 3. His finalists are Iowa, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
I’ll be committing July 3rd‼️👀
— Tyler Goodson(Tgood) (@tgood1110) June 11, 2018
Most recently, he spent time earlier this month 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.
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.
Goodson ranks No. 39 among running back recruits in the nation and is the No. 61 prospect in the state of Georgia.
A breakdown of the Mountaineers commits 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)
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.