BGN Recruiting Mailbag

Chris Chugunov

BlueGoldNews.com answers the latest questions on the West Virginia recruiting front.

Q: What are your feelings on the QBs WVU is bringing in? -EERforce1

A: The early thought from me was if WVU decided to include two quarterbacks in the class they would be of different skill sets. However, that turned out to not be the case.

Both Chris Chugunov and David Sills offer strong arms and are pure pocket passers. They both have excellent vision and have the “zip” needed on their passes to play at the next level.

Q: Do you think Sills stays committed if Crest plays this year? -TuckerMountaineer

A: Yes. When Sills committed in July he did so knowing the roster currently in place and the fact the Mountaineers already had another quarterback committed. He’s made it known he’s eager to compete and earn a spot.

Q: Is WVU still actively pursuing Miami (FL) quarterback Lamar Jackson? -wolfpackeer

A: With two quarterbacks currently in the fold it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where three wouldn’t be a crowd. However, Jackson is an extreme talent so it would be tough to turn him away. At the present moment the viewpoint from here suggests the Mountaineers are finished at the position.

Q: What percentage chance WVU gets a LOI on signing day from Jovon Durante? -AliceBaker12

A: These are always tough to predict — especially with percentages. However, I think WVU’s positioning with Durante is stronger now than ever. His visit a few weeks back was beneficial. It allowed him to be on campus with the staff and alongside other commits. His transfer to Miramar High is also interesting. That keeps him around three other West Virginia commits on a daily basis.

There’s still a strong chance he takes his official visits elsewhere, so that’s a concern. But I’d give the Mountaineers a strong 85% chance of winning out with his signature.

Q: Who are we more likely to take between defensive ends Reuben Jones and Larry Jefferson? -yahoomountaindo

A: I’m not sure it’ll come down to which player the WVU staff “takes” over the other, but which is more ready to make a commitment. I wouldn’t rule out the option both could find their way into the class.

Q: What are the chances we see offensive lineman Jamie Herr commit to WVU again? -yahoomountaindo

A: Herr is definitely someone to watch because the staff appears to still hold him in high regard. At last check Herr planned to visit again this fall.

Q: Who would you say WVU’s top targets are? -MountaineerMastermind

A: This would be an excellent positional breakdown piece and likely give a better understanding into different prospects. However, there are a handful of names still high on the Mountaineers board.

Defensively, Monaca (Pa.) cornerback Jordan Whitehead, Philadelphia (Pa.) defensive end Shareef Miller, Cincinnati (Ohio) linebacker David Long and Miami (FL) cornerback Sheldrick Redwine rate highly.

On offense, Largo (FL) wide receiver Damian King, Garner (N.C.) running back Nyheim Hines, Aliquippa (Pa.) wide receiver Patrick Anderson and Elkton (Md.) offensive lineman Jamie Herr are notable prospects to watch.

Q: Where do you think Jordan Whitehead will land? -MountaineerMastermind

A: For the longest time Whitehead’s recruitment has been a three-way battle between West Virginia. Penn State and Ohio State. As time has passed the Nittany Lions’ class appears to have moved past Whitehead to focus in other areas. It could be a battle between the Mountaineers and Buckeyes with both programs having strong foundations in his recruitment.

Q: Anything new on Miramar (FL) cornerback Tyrek Cole? Are we still in it for Tim Settle?-shane7

A: Cole remains committed to Florida State. As of now there’s nothing to suggest he won’t wind up a Seminole. However, like the majority of recruits, he stills plans to take official visits. Whenever that happens anything it possible. It does appear that the Mountaineers are in line for one of those visits.

Since releasing a top 15 in late June, where he included WVU, Settle has slowed his recruitment down. At this point I wouldn’t rate the chances high of him becoming a Mountaineer, though having him possibly visit during the season would prove beneficial.

Q: Which schools are WVU’s biggest competition for linebacker David Long — and what percentage chance to you give WVU? -yahoomountaindo

A: Long’s recruitment is arguably one of the toughest to figure out because he keeps things close to the vest. However, he recently listed a top seven to Scout.com that included Missouri, Illinois, Louisville, Kentucky, West Virginia and Oklahoma. All of the schools have offered expect the Sooners.

With that list in mind he plans to narrow down to three schools in September — so giving a percentage chance at this time is difficult.

Q: Do you predict the 2016 class to be as good or better than 2015 class? -Motown2014

A: I’ve always been of the belief you can never truly judge a class until a few years down the road. But, we live in a world of star rating players, so this is a question often asked. I’ve predicted the class of 2015 to be a top 20 class. There’s a ton of rising-juniors in the class of 2016 with significant interest in the Mountaineers — and it’s started with the commitment of linebacker Logan Thimons.

Q: Is Travares Martin the top remaining wide receiver target? How many more wideouts will WVU take? What are chances with Amir Ealey? -yahoomountaindo

A: Martin is indeed a wanted man by the WVU staff, but he’s not alone at the top. Damian King, Patrick Anderson, Therrell Gosier and Gary Jennings all find themselves on the radar. With only two wide receivers currently in the fold, it wouldn’t be surprising to see another two or three make their way onto the committed list.

Amir Ealey is an intriguing prospect. While most schools like him on the offensive side of the ball, the Mountaineer staff prefers him on defensive. The Coatesville (Pa.) standout hasn’t tipped his hand as to where he wants to play — so the position will likely be the outlining factor in his decision.

Q: Who is our best defensive line target? Do we target bodies we can mold or go after a finished product? -mountiefan74

A: West Virginia has a rich history in taking prospects on both sides of the line and molding them into solid contributors. Early names on the radar are Shareef Miller, Channing Hames and Reuben Jones. Couple those prospects with a handful of junior college players who seemingly always pop up late, and WVU will add another couple defensive lineman to the class.

Q: Does getting Antonio Howard on board help cement the verbal of Jovon Durante because of their friendship? -BlindDuck

A: As I mentioned earlier, Durante’s commitment is believed to be stronger than ever. His recent visit to WVU appears to have solidified his pledge. His relationship with Howard is a plus, much like his recent transfer to Miramar to play alongside other Mountaineer commits.

Q: How many scholarships to we have available for this season in total? -bitcruncher

A: When sizing up a recruiting class I don’t typically examine overall scholarship numbers, but rather how many prospects are a “take” in the class. The class of 2015 looks to have around 22-25 total.

Q: With the limited size of the senior class how many commits do we take in the near future? Do we hold spots for bigger targets closer to signing day? -MTNenginEER

A: This is a scenario every school runs into almost every year and it almost always works itself out in the end. The West Virginia staff has a history of doing both — taking who’s ready to commit and being patient with those who want to wait. There is always room for a signing day surprise.

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