West Virginia faces one of the biggest challenges in college football recruiting. After all, its home state is the smallest in the Big 12, and its population of approximately 1.8 million people makes it one of the smallest in the nation in terms of potential recruits.
That’s led coach Dana Holgorsen to target other areas over the years. Most recently, the Mountaineers emphasized Florida as prime recruiting territory.
The only problem with that strategy is that the state is stacked with FBS programs, as well as smaller schools.
The Charleston Gazette’s Chris Anderson reports the Mountaineers are switching their focus a little north to Georgia.
The NCAA reports that Georgia has the second-highest rate of high school football players recruited by Division I schools. The number of 8.6 percent lags only behind Florida’s 9.9 percent and is more than three time the number of Texas (2.7 percent).
The fact that only two in-state Power 5 programs (Georgia and Georgia Tech) and two other FBS programs (Georgia Southern, Georgia State) recruit the area makes it more open for outsiders.
West Virginia aims to take advantage of that.
The Gazette reports that Alabama-trained rising cornerbacks coach Doug Belk provides West Virginia with an entree into Georgia, and it could be starting to pay off.
Richmond Hill wide receiver Sam Jones picked the Mountaineers over Cincinnati, Maryland and Mississippi State. Offensive linemen Joshua Ezeudu of Archer and Oyenmwen “Junior” Uzebu of Alpharetta also are strongly considering West Virginia.
With only one player from Georgia so far, it appears to outsiders to be a late start for the Mountaineers. But Holgorsen’s coaches are poised to add several more, which will benefit the Mountaineers’ haul as well as set them up for future recruiting in the area.