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January 27, 2014

Signing Day Misses

Signing day is always a spectacle both for the good and the bad. Over the years, West Virginia has had its fair share of ups and downs on the unofficial national recruiting holiday and today we take a look at recent signing day misses for the Mountaineers and how those prospects have translated at their respective schools.

2009 Atco (N.J.) Winslow Township athlete Ka'Lial Glaud signed with Rutgers - Glaud is perhaps one of the most interesting of all the signing day decisions in the history of West Virginia recruiting. Down to Rutgers and the Mountaineers, Glaud was so torn that he eventually made his decision based solely on the flip of a coin that landed in favor of the Scarlet Knights.

Update from ScarletNation.com: "Glaud played his first two years as a special teamer and backup linebacker. All the while, he was being groomed for the role of starting middle linebacker. That time seemed to arrive as a junior, but halfway through training camp former head coach Greg Schiano showed that he no longer had confidence in Glaud. Schiano moved him to defensive end where he stayed for the next two years. Glaud was mostly a backup as a junior and then started as a senior but really never turned into an impact player. In hindsight, his best role probably would have been as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He was too small to make an impact as a defensive end and not quite physical enough to cut it as a middle linebacker. He was a serviceable college player at best and will be more remembered for choosing his college on the flip of a coin than any notable on-field accomplishments."

2009 Ranked 140th nationally Pompano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely cornerback Michael Carter signed with Minnesota - Carter committed to West Virginia at the U.S. Army All-American game in early January but due to his connections to the Minnesota program with his cousin Tyrone, made the decision to switch his commitment on signing day to the Golden Gophers.

Update from GopherIllustrated.com.: "Carter played sparingly his first two years, showed some potential but was really exposed quite a bit in Brewster's last two years. Kill's first year he was non-existent, people didn't even know he was still in the program and he wasn't committed at all to school or the football program. His cousin, former All-American and Jim Thorpe award winner, Tyrone Carter had a heart to heart with him and he recommitted himself back in the classroom and earned the right to get back on the team and he actually had one of the best individual seasons from a Gopher cornerback in my lifetime in his final season. He played well and I was surprised he didn't get an invite to a training camp. He had a lot of high school hopes but didn't really do that much outside of his final year."

2011 Ranked 204th nationally Manassas (Va.) Osbourn athlete Dominique Terrell signed with Virginia - West Virginia came down to the wire for Terrell and appeared to be in good position to sign him until a late push by Virginia pushed the Cavaliers over the top.

Update from CavsCorner.com: "When Dominique Terrell committed to UVa two years ago, it seemed that the Cavaliers had hit a home run. Terrell was a versatile four-star athlete who was expected to contribute right away. When he arrived in Charlottesville alongside another four-star quarterback-turned-receiver in Darius Jennings, Terrell was tabbed as the team's punt returner in addition to his duties at wideout. Unfortunately, he hasn't had the career he nor anyone else expected to this point. His contributions have been spotty at best. He caught the game-winning touchdown in UVa's overtime victory against Idaho as a true freshman, a season during which the Wahoos won eight games and played in the Chick-fil-a Bowl. Since then, UVa has won a total of six games and its lackluster offense has been to blame.

Terrell struggled mightily as a freshman, both in fielding punts and with holding on to the ball. Those struggles continued into his sophomore season, though he was removed from punt return duties. As a junior this past season, he played better for most of the season, putting together a seven-game stretch of games where he had at least one reception. But his issues fielding punts, which seemed to be predicated on confidence, returned and he was moved out of that spot for most of the season. As he goes into his senior year, he has a chance to be a contributor but much will depend on the play of younger receivers around him. And it remains to be seen if Virginia, which faces an incredibly difficult schedule coming off the 2-10 season in 2013, will look to put Terrell back on special teams again going forward."

2010 Ranked 15th nationally Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville athlete Latwan Anderson went to Miami on a track scholarship - Another player that committed to West Virginia at the U.S. Army All-American game, Anderson would not sign his letter of intent on signing day and instead take a look at several other programs. In a surprising twist, he would eventually commit to Miami on a track scholarship and never made an impact at the college level.

Update: Took a track scholarship and was only at Miami for a very brief period of time and left school without ever playing a down. Announced that he was going to attend Cincinnati, but the Bearcat staff didn't have the same interest level and he was last reported to be at East Mississippi Community College attempting to revive his career.

2008 Miami Springs (Fla.) wide receiver Eugene "T.Y." Hilton signed with Florida International - Hilton took his final visit to West Virginia and his recruitment came down to the Mountaineers and his hometown Florida International. This ranks right up there with one of the most interesting signing day decisions due to the fact that Hilton let his infant son determine his college by allowing him to pick the hat of the school he would attend. He would pick FIU and Hilton would go on to a great career and is now in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts.

Update: "He started every year of his career at FIU and was drafted with the 92nd pick overall in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft. Earned Sunbelt Freshman of the year in 2008 and first team all-conference as well as Sunbelt Player of the Year in 2010 while setting the FIU single season record for total receiving yards, average yards per reception and all-purpose yardage. Just wrapped up a thousand yard season in his second with the Colts."

2012 Ranked 84th nationally Midlothian (Va.) Clover Hill wide receiver Joel Caleb signed with Virginia Tech - Caleb officially visited West Virginia during the weekend of Jan. 20 and was interested in the Mountaineers offense but the Hokies had long held the inside track here and secured his signature when he announced his decision on signing day.

Update from HokieHaven.com: "In large part due to coming off a knee injury during his senior year, Caleb redshirted his first season at Virginia Tech. Recruited as an athlete; he spent that first season as a wide receiver on the scout team. Before this season, he was moved to running back. But Caleb missed his big chance when during the summer; he was suspended for the season-opener against Alabama due to a violation of team rules. For that game, presumed starter JC Coleman, a sophomore was out with ankle injuries and redshirt freshman Trey Edmunds got the start instead, rushing for 132 yards against the Crimson Tide. Edmunds would keep the starter's job until breaking his leg in the regular season finale against Virginia. Caleb did play in 11 games this past fall, though mostly on special teams. He had 41 yards rushing on the season, 36 of which came against FCS Western Carolina. He did get one start, at wide receiver against Pittsburgh."

2010 Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage School wide receiver Darius Millines signed with Illinois - Millines had been committed to West Virginia for much of the process but after Doc Holliday left for the Marshall job he opened his recruitment and considered all three programs. West Virginia made a strong push to get back in the race but Illinois won out in the end for the dynamic athlete.

Update from Orange&BlueNews.com: "He would have been a senior this season. Millines was their most talented wide receiver but he had a rash of injuries and a foot injury that plagued him. When he finally got healthy he had a discipline issue and was no longer with the program and kicked off the team. He was the most talented wide receiver and was really athletic and he did have a decent year his sophomore season but he was only with the program three injury shortened years."

2013 Ranked 103 nationally Clairton (Pa.) wide receiver Tyler Boyd signed with Pittsburgh - Boyd had long-considered West Virginia his leader throughout his recruitment but Pittsburgh was able to seize the momentum late in the process. Made late visits to West Virginia and Tennessee but the Panthers were able to secure his signature on signing day.

Update from PantherLair.com: "Boyd had the most productive season of any freshman receiver in Pitt history, eclipsing even Larry Fitzgerald's numbers. He caught 85 passes for 1,174 yards - both team-leading - and 7 touchdowns. He also rushed 11 times for 108 yards and a score, and he had 69 yards and a touchdown on 3 punt returns. He was named to the All-ACC second team.
And in four games without Devin Street, he caught 33 passes for 389 yards and a touchdown, including an 8-catch/173-yard performance in the bowl game. He was really, really good."

2006 Harrisburg (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt cornerback Aaron Berry signed with Pittsburgh - Berry committed to Pittsburgh but West Virginia was involved all the way up until signing day and there was some talk of a possible late flip to the Mountaineers. That never happened and Berry went on to have a successful career at Pitt.

Update from PantherLair.com: "Berry was a three-year starter and had six interceptions over that time."

2012 Miami (Fla.) Miami Norland defensive lineman Teko Powell signed with Illinois - This recruitment came down to West Virginia and Illinois and both schools felt confident with the defensive lineman at various times in his recruitment. Announced on signing day that he would be attending Illinois.

Update from Orange&BlueNews.com: "Teko took a while to develop from a technique standpoint, he was pretty raw when he got to Illinois but last year about mid-way through the season he started to figure things out and was their best defensive lineman by the end of the year. He played a lot and will be the starter at the three technique. They had to work with him quite a bit and last season he finally figured it all out and played very well."

2009 Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central offensive lineman Henry Orelus signed with Florida State - Orelus visited West Virginia earlier in the process but committed to the Seminoles and he would stay true to that pledge although the Mountaineers made a late push to make things interesting.

Update from Warchant.com: "Didn't do much at FSU but was a pretty good prospect out of H.S. at Glades Central. Solid and powerful run blocker that played some his freshman season but suffered a few concussions and that was pretty much it."

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