During Saturday’s television broadcast of the West Virginia-Texas Tech game, the announcers mentioned the lack of an in-state talent base for the Mountaineers to recruit. They mentioned that head coach Dana Holgorsen said there was one in-state prospect for each of the classes of 2014 and 2015 but that was about it.
Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia consistently go to Florida to find players.
West Virginia has commitments from Morgantown senior offensive guard Amanii Brown and junior defensive end Stone Wolfley. Other than that, the Mountaineers are forced to head out of state for every recruit.
Not only does West Virginia have to go out of state but there isn’t a natural recruiting footprint in neighboring states either.
The entire Big Ten recruits the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania. The ACC recruits both Maryland and Virginia heavily and the SEC usually poaches the top talent from Kentucky.
That leaves the Big 12’s geographical outlier looking for other sources of talent. Over the past several years, talent has come from a number of places.
The past four signing classes plus the current commitments have included a total of 112 players. Those 112 come from 13 different states plus the junior college ranks.
The top state that has provided the talent in that time is Florida, which has produced 29 of the 112 (26-percent). It is surprising that a state so far from the borders of West Virginia has produced over a quarter of the Mountaineers’ players. The Sunshine State has plenty of prospects to go around but for one school from the Big 12 (and formerly the Big East) to have so many prospects from there is impressive.
The other top states in that group of 112 are Ohio with 15, Texas and Maryland with nine each and Pennsylvania with seven. Junior college prospects accounted for 17 of them as well.
Some of the more surprising stats were that the Mountaineers did not sign a single player from neighboring Kentucky in that span and no players from neighboring Virginia have been signed since the class of 2010, which had five. New Jersey, with five, has provided more players for the Mountaineers than Georgia with four.
New 2015 Baylor commit could play multiple positions.
West Virginia has struggled a bit this season and last but the Mountaineers have been consistently pretty good for quite some time. That is incredibly impressive given that the coaches have to pretty much scour the country in search of talent while fellow Big 12 schools such as Baylor, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech barely have leave their state’s borders.
Baylor still rolling
Baylor picked up an impressive pledge over the weekend from Troup, Texas, junior quarterback Blake Lynch.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound dual-threat prospect could play a number of positions if quarterback does not work out. He chose the Bears over his other top school Mississippi State but he also had offers from the likes of Clemson, Nebraska and TCU. Lynch plays for a small East Texas school but he should still see a ton of interest despite his pledge. However, don’t look for him to go anywhere.
Baylor has proven that it can almost plug and play its quarterbacks, which makes passers want to come there. They know they will likely put up big numbers.
The Bears already have a commitment from Top247 junior quarterback Chad President and are right in the thick of things for fellow Top247 junior passer Jarrett Stidham. As long as none of them are afraid of the competition, it is very possible for Baylor to end up with all three of Lynch, President and Stidham. That’s a big reason why head coach Art Briles and company stopped recruiting Randall Cunningham II in the current class.
Obviously all three could not end up with meaningful time under center in Waco should they all end up there. However, both President and Stidham played wide receiver for their teams as sophomores and Lynch is willing to line up at other spots if it comes to that as well.
Baylor also has a third early commitment for the class of 2015 in Huntsville, Texas, offensive tackle Ronnie Major. Not a lot of people are talking about the 6-foot-6, 290-pound junior but he could end up being very good with his combination of size and athleticism.
Odds and ends
-Both Oklahoma and Texas Tech are looking for junior college offensive line help. The Red Raiders already have a commitment from Drew Sarvary and it could shape to be a battle between the two Big 12 programs for Iowa Western offensive tackle Sebastian Tretola. The former true freshman starter at Nevada will officially visit both campuses.
-TCU looks to be close to flipping North Texas athlete commit Desmon White after offering late last week. Though the DeSoto, Texas, prospect is putting up huge numbers at quarterback, he officially measured in at 5-foot-5.5, 148 pounds this spring. The Horned Frogs will use him as a slot receiver and kick returner. TCU has built a solid pipeline at DeSoto, one of the top programs in the country.
-It seems like the entire Big 12 is going to offer Allen, Texas, sophomore offensive tackle Gregory Little in the very near future. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound class of 2016 prospect has added offers from Oklahoma State and Texas in the past week to go along with previous ones from Oklahoma, TCU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. He has already visited Oklahoma and Texas A&M and will make a trip this weekend to TCU.
-Both Baylor and Texas have taken notice of Marble Falls, Texas, sophomore quarterback Brennen Wooten. Former North Texas head coach Todd Dodge is now the head coach for Marble Falls and has the team putting up big passing numbers. Wooten recently picked up an Akron offer and will see plenty more before his career is done. Two other sophomore passers in the state to watch are Bowman Sells of Lucas Lovejoy and Dagan Haehn of Lake Dallas.