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February 11, 2014

The Class of 2009 Reviewed




The class of 2009 was ranked No. 27 nationally by Rivals.com and made some significant contributions over the course of their careers, but how does the group stack up when looking back at the impact they had on campus? WVSports.com reviews the class of 2009 and how they stack up once the dust had settled.

Entering West Virginia:

Overall, the group was rated as the nation's No. 27 ranked recruiting class with six four-star players, 15 three-star players in the group of 25 prospects. The class of 2009 was the No. 1 class in the Big East Conference and had a total of (1 QB, 2 RB, 5 WR, 5 OL, 4 DL, 3 LB, 5 DB).

While at West Virginia:

The class of 2009 was a part of 39 wins during the course of the five years the group was on campus, making bowl appearances in each of those except last season. Overall, the group helped pave the way for the 2011 Big East Championship and the historic 70-33 performance in the Orange Bowl win over Clemson. Individually, many of the players in the class set various records while on campus and continued the success of the West Virginia program.

Player-by-player Review:

RB Shawne Alston (2009-12) - Appeared in 36 games, started 5 - 234 carries for 1,068 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. - Alston played sparingly his first season before getting an opportunity to carry the ball over his final three years. While an injury almost derailed his career, Alston would score 19 touchdowns over his final two seasons as one of the primary options in the Mountaineers backfield.

WR Tavon Austin (2009-12) - Appeared in 52 games, started 37 - 110 carries for 1033 yards and 6 touchdowns, 288 receptions for 3,413 yards and 29 touchdowns, along with 5 return touchdowns - Austin put together a prolific career in Morgantown and will be long remembered as not only one of the best players to put on a Mountaineers jersey, but one of the most explosive. Was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.

WR Stedman Bailey (2010-12) - Appeared in 39 games, started 32 - 210 receptions, 3,218 yards and 41-touchdows - Bailey was the second half of the Miramar duo to commit to West Virginia along with Geno Smith and he didn't disappoint after a redshirt season leaving school as one of the most productive wide receivers to wear a Mountaineers jersey.

OL Cole Bowers (2010-12) - Bowers appeared primed for early success in his career starting a number of games after a redshirt year, but then succumbed to injuries and inconsistency and failed to build on what he was able to do when he first arrived in Morgantown.

LB Branko Busick (2009-10) - Appeared in 3 games - 1 solo tackles, 2 assisted - Busick's stay in Morgantown was a short one after being arrested and dismissed from the team.

DE Will Clarke (2010-13) - Appeared in 42 games, started 34 - 69 solo tackles, 44 assisted, 31.5 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks, 8 pass breakups and 1 forced fumble - Clarke switched from Pittsburgh to West Virginia after signing day and developed into a very productive defensive lineman for the Mountaineers, finishing his career with his best season with 6.0 of his 10 career sacks.

S Darwin Cook - (2010-13) - Appeared in 49 games, started 34 - 170 solo tackles, 73 assisted, 9.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, 12 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles, 7 interceptions - Cook redshirted his freshman season and played in every game the following year. He would become the starter from his sophomore season and put together a good career that will likely be most remembered for his 99-yard fumble touchdown return and subsequent tackle of Obie in the Orange Bowl.

DL Dominik Davenport (2009) - Davenport spent a redshirt season in Morgantown but left for Old Dominion in January, however he never played a down for the Monarchs after being ruled academically ineligible an then transferred to the junior college level.

OL Pat Eger (2010-13) - Appeared in 41 games, started 28 - Eger was a three-year starter at tackle, guard or center as he bounced around during his final years on campus. One of the unquestioned leaders of the offensive line, Eger put together a productive career in Morgantown.

OL Curtis Feigt (2010-13) - Appeared in 31 career games, started 19 - Feigt took some time to develop in Morgantown as he was originally recruited to play defensive line but the German import ended up starting the majority of his final two seasons at tackle for the Mountaineers and found a home at that spot.

DL Tevita Finau - Finau signed with West Virginia multiple times as an academic non-qualifier and has almost become the things of lore for Mountaineer fans. Finau never made it to Morgantown and instead enrolled at Utah, where he would sign with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad and currently with the Jets practice squad.

S Terence Garvin (2009-12) - Appeared in 47 games, started 37 games - 134 solo tackles, 101 assisted, 24.5 tackles for loss, 11.0 sacks, 11 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions - Garvin saw time his first season on campus and started every other game he saw action for the rest of his career. The safety put together a very impressive career for West Virginia as the latest in a line of standout defensive backs and currently plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

RB Daquan Hargrett (2010-11) - Appeared in 6 games - 2 rushes for 14 yards - Hargrett redshirted during his freshman season and stuck around for the next year but would leave after that to head back to his native Miami to attend FIU.

WR Logan Heastie (2009) - Heastie was one of the highest billed wide receivers to sign with West Virginia at the time but his career would be anything but. After never seeing the field during his first season on campus, the Rivals.com four-star wide receiver requested a release and moved on from Morgantown.

CB Brodrick Jenkins (2010-13) - Appeared in 38 games, started 11 - 68 solo tackles, 11 assisted, 3.0 tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups, 3 interceptions - Jenkins redshirted during his first year on campus, but eared 11-starts during his sophomore and junior years. Left the team after only two games in his senior season where he had fallen behind some of the other cornerback options.

OL Nick Kindler (2010-13) - Appeared in 38 games, started 9 - Kindler bounced around positions but was able to make a push during his final two seasons to see the field and even earn some starts. Became a productive player that could play multiple spots for the Mountaineers.

WR Deon Long (2010) - Long signed two LOIs with West Virginia, one out of high school and then again after spending a semester at Hargrave. He would enroll at West Virginia the following January only to leave the program before ever participating in a spring practice. He would take a traveled path to his current location at Maryland where he finished last season with 32 catches for 489 yards and a touchdown in only seven games.

CB Pat Miller (2009-12) - Appeared in 48 games, started 22 - 107 solo tackles, 31 assisted, 7.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, 17 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions - Miller had an up and down career in Morgantown as he was able to earn 22 starts during his career, but struggled at times in coverage. Still, Miller was an overall productive player during his time in Morgantown.

WR Terrance Moore - Signed with West Virginia but never made it on campus due to an issue with taking a year off from football and not having the credits to serve as a fifth year senior.

LB Taige Redman (2010-12) - Appeared in 26 games - 3 solo tackles, 4 assists, 2.5 tackles for loss - Redman was a late addition to the recruiting class and spent his career primarily as a reserve and on special teams.

S Jonathan Scott (2009) - Scott signed with West Virginia and left the program without ever making any type of impact and ended up at the junior college level.

QB Eugene Smith (2009-12) - Appeared in 44 games, started 39 games - Threw for 11,662 yards and 98 touchdowns with only 21 interceptions, while rushing for 341 yards and 4 touchdowns - Smith was recruited as the program quarterback and he more than lived up to those standards setting or breaking various records in his three seasons as the starting quarterback for the Mountaineers. Will be remembered as one of the great West Virginia signal callers and was drafted by the New York Jets in the second round.

FB Chris Snook (2010) - Snook's career was derailed by injuries and the fullback was never able to successfully compete for the Mountaineers due to his issue with reoccurring concussions.

OL Ryan Spiker (2010) - Spiker redshirted during his first year in Morgantown and left the program due to playing time reasons.

OL Jordan Weingart (2010) - Weingart also redshirted during his first year on campus but would leave after not cracking the depth chart.

Class Review:

Out of the 25 players that signed with West Virginia in the class of 2009, only 11 of those players finished their four-year playing career with the program. Still out of those 11, many of those players made a huge impact while on campus and set various school and conference records with their performances. The team scored a BCS victory in historic fashion as well as tying for two conference championships. Out of the group, Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Terence Garvin are all still playing in the NFL.

Hits in the class: Shawne Alston, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Will Clarke, Darwin Cook, Terence Garvin and Eugene Smith.

Living up to the ranking: Pat Eger, Curtis Feigt, Brodrick Jenkins, Nick Kindler, Pat Miller and Taige Redman.

Misses in the class: Cole Bowers, Branko Busick, Dominik Davenport, Tevita Finau, Daquan Hargrett, Logan Heastie, Deon Long, Terrance Moore, Jonathan Scott, Chris Snook, Ryan Spiker and Jordan Weingart.

Overall, the group ended up with some solid contributors at the bottom and some absolute star power at the top. The overall amount of attrition was high for the group but given what the class was able to do on the football field and in the record books it's hard to give this class anything less than a B+ and they make a strong argument to push to an A because many of these players became the face of the West Virginia program during their respective careers.

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