Everything you need to know and what actually matters about the 2019 West Virginia Mountaineer recruiting class.
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Neal Brown is known for his offensive coaching abilities, and that’s not going to be an issue at West Virginia. To get the Mountaineers over the hump and into the Big 12 Championship, the defense has to come with him from Troy. He didn’t get much time to hit the recruiting trail, but he pulled together a decent class.
It’s a smallish class with no room for any misses. Of course there will be several misfires, but it could be a step back to take a giant leap forward. The program seemed to hit a bit of a wall under Dana Holgorsen, and that’s where Brown comes in. That comes to recruiting, too … next year.
The defensive backfield got the most help, and it needs it after not doing much of anything for it in last year’s class. Tykee Smith is a quick safety with great range, and Dreshun Miller is a great get from the JUCO ranks who was going to LSU, but flipped to the Mountaineers. Don’t be stunned if these two are major difference-makers and the keys to the class.
Smith is the team’s best-looking recruit – if it’s not Miller – but watch out for Tavian Mayo, too. Smith and Miller are safeties, but Mayo is a corner who was in the mix for Iowa State, Nebraska and North Carolina. He was one of Brown’s key NSD signings.
Where are the linebackers? There was only on in last year’s class, and Jared Bartlett is the only one in this year’s version. It’s not a massive immediate need on the field, but it’ll be one of the key areas to address in 2020.
Remember, Brown already has his quarterback in Oklahoma grad transfer Austin Kendall, but more options need to be brought in soon. Kendall has two years of eligibility remaining, but more quarterbacks have to be developed under the new head man.
It would be nice if there were more running backs. Leddie Brown was one of the stars of last year’s class, and running back isn’t a massive concern on the field this year, but Tony Mathis was the only signing this year. It’s not a massive deal, but it’ll be part of 2020’s haul.
Jordan Jefferson isn’t a superstar recruit, but considering there weren’t any other defensive tackles in the class, getting the Florida native on NSD mattered. Brown needs more guys to throw into the interior, and he was also able to take wide receiver/safety Rashean Lynn out of the Sunshine State, too.
There are just enough decent prospects to hope for a few to kick in and be a part of the starting mix soon, but this was a placeholder class. All things considered, though, it’s not all that bad and could be just good enough to be in the upper half of the Big 12.