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Early signing period helps WVU class to start on the right foot

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The 2018 recruiting class isn’t complete but It’s certainly off on the right foot.

West Virginia signed 20 players during the first signing period, filling up the majority of the class over a month early than the traditional signing date in February.

It’s a class that is perched firmly inside the top 25 nationally, armed with stability and the recent success in the program to help aid the efforts.

According to head coach Dana Holgorsen, there is room for 26 players in the group overall but the expectation is that West Virginia will sign five more in February.

Out of the positions left, expect an offensive lineman or two, a defensive lineman and a pair of corners. So for now, the work is ongoing and the coaches plan to scour the nation to fill it with players that can help next year.

“You need a little bit of everything,” Holgorsen said.

And a little bit they have. Taking a bite out of every position, this group features it all. Quarterback? You’ve got it. Running back and wide receivers? Yep. Offensive linemen too while the defensive side is littered with prospects at each level. There’s even a kicker.

But it’s not time for a celebration yet. West Virginia would have gladly filled all of its spots if it had the right people to make it work but that process is still ongoing. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing either as the Mountaineers have been able to fill spots in the past through the transfer market.

“It’s not about a day or a class. It is about what your roster looks like come Aug. 1,” Holgorsen said. “That’s what counts.”

As part of the process, Holgorsen noticed that many schools threw out late scholarship offers prior to the start of the early signing period in order to get them to reconsider. Some as late as 72-hours prior to the date as teams tossed out offers to players they didn’t really know.

Teams entering the picture late worked against West Virginia with Alex Williams flipping to Ohio State, but the Mountaineers were able to hold off several charges for committed players as well.

“Building it the way that we have built it, it is good, and I like where we are at with it,” Holgorsen said.

Not every player signed a letter of intent during the early period leaving a sizeable chunk of high school prospects for the Mountaineers to continue to pursue as well as junior college options. Unlike the traditional signing period where many teams are forced to move immediately to transfers to fill holes.

One thing that West Virginia was armed with to aid its efforts on the recruiting trail was a newly signed contract for Holgorsen giving the Mountaineers more ammunition to work with. That paid dividends when it came to securing a nice collection of high school prospects that require more stability.

“A lot of the guys signing, which are good, quality student-athletes, are mainly high school guys,” Holgorsen said. “That’s 100-percent what that is.”

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