1. Will

    Thank you for the write up Ian, it’s a treat to read your thoughts on this class.

    I think this is a good assessment of Lowe and the general WVU QB situation. They’ve had a year to see what they had in Allison while he played on the scout, my understanding is that they are happy. They’ve also got a run-first guy in David Israel who just finished a red-shirt. So they’ll have plenty of time to develop Lowe and see what happens.

    This was going to be the year of the TE at WVU one way or another. After swinging and missing at TEs that could be receiving threats, they finally landed Haskins as a transfer last year (after missing him out of high school). Banks bolds and highlights it though. This is a direction I think Holgo has wanted to go in for a while. Just run the same position group out there all drive, with enough versatility to run or throw as needed. TE has, I think, been the piece he has felt has been missing for a while. Now he’s got two guys who could come in and get open along with the size to hammer a guy with a block. O$U came hard after in-state O’Laughlin on early signing day. That’s probably a good sign that he’s got some upside too.

    Interesting that you like Wheaton and Spalding the most. I’ve read that Tyrion Carrier (WVU’s WR coach) sees James as a guy who could be a potential first round pick. I’m not sweating which of these guys develops into a frontline WR, I am just happy one of these guys is likely to. The days of having a gap at WR when guys graduate is long gone.

    I like what I’ve read about Scott (as a guard) and Uzebu. The other guys look like guys who could make their way onto the depth chart in the middle of the line and the Brown brothers should be able to contribute immediately. With two fairly young tackles ready to go in 2018, I’m pretty happy with that haul.

    I was totally shocked that there are only 2 DL in this class. You would know better than I do about Gmiter’s abilities but I haven’t seen anything that suggests the staff wants to move him to OL. We will see. Losing 6’7 toolbox Alex Williams on early signing day to O$U hurt this class a lot. He would have been something. Still, Stills is as good a freshman DL prospect as I have ever seen WVU snag. I think they were hoping to build depth this year but at least they got upside. They’ll probably look for a grad transfer or late JuCo guy here and definitely offer a lot of guys for next year.

    Chandler looks like a Long clone. Undersized, underrecruited Ohio guy that thumps from the LB position. Sign me up for more of that, Long is a stud.

    Really appreciate your thoughts on the DBs. I feel like they are the difference between playing in the Big 12 title game and the Russell Athletic Bowl with 8-9 wins. Looks like Washington is a winner, Norwood is a tweener (which I had read elsewhere) and Raines is positioned to step up at spur (wouldn’t be surprised to see Benton move here eventually either). I think the coach expects Raines to play right away because there’s a gap at Spur on the roster. They need Washington to show up big time. Kenny Robinson is slated for FS so he’s not an option. I think Hakeem Bailey is probably decent, maybe even good, but the rest of the CBs are inexperienced and none have really generated much buzz inside the program. FYI, There’s a 5’9 incoming freshman(Jayce Rogers) who signed an LOI but they haven’t accepted yet (probably grades, don’t know) but he won’t matter for this year. I’m expecting them to chase a grad transfer here too unless some underclassmen has wowed them in secrecy.

    I think, generally, there is some upside in this class that you don’t normally see at WVU. Specifically, at TE and DL. The other top level guys aren’t all that different from kids in other classes but Banks and Stills are (I don’t think this is an exaggeration) once in a decade recruiting gets for the program. Combine them what’s coming back (including the guys who transferred and waited last year) and the only glaring weakness is CB. Big year in Morgantown in 2018.

    Do you mind if I post this link over at Smoking Musket? A lot of guys over there would be interested to read this.

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