Meet the West Virginia Mountaineers football 2020 signees
Get to know each of the West Virginia Mountaineers football commitments in the 2020 recruiting class with this feature from WVSports.com.
Committed: Feb. 5, 2020
Evergreen (Ala.) Hillcrest pass rushing linebacker Eddie Watkins emerged onto the West Virginia radar in the fall after backing off a commitment to Georgia Tech, which he made in June. Watkins also took an official visit to Purdue but wouldn't make his official visit to West Virginia until Dec. 6. At the time he walked away impressed, but elected to hold off signing in December in order to take his final two visits. Watkins did that the final two weekends to Arizona and Missouri but elected to commit to the Mountaineers in large part because of his connection with the coaching staff. The Rivals.com three-star prospect fills an immediate need for the program in the bandit role and has the frame to grow into potentially even more.
Committed: January 24, 2020
Orlando (Fla.) Jones running back A'Varius Sparrow emerged onto the scene late for West Virginia but became the primary focus down the stretch run. The Mountaineers were able to get him on campus for an official visit and that closed the deal for the talented running back. Sparrow transitioned from linebacker to running back in his high school career and exploded during his senior season rushing for over 2,000 yards and 20+ touchdowns showcasing a blend of speed and power. He should be the only running back commitment for the Mountaineers in the class and developed a strong connection with position coach Chad Scott throughout the process.
Committed: December 18, 2019
Savannah (Ga.) New Hampstead wide receiver Sam Brown was committed to Central Florida for much of the process but elected to back off that pledge that the stretch. That resulted in late offers from Georgia, Florida and Mississippi but the Mountaineers had been involved for a long time and that persistence paid off. Brown committed to the Mountaineers on national signing day selecting the Big 12 Conference program over Florida, his two finalists where he visited on back to back weekends.
Committed: December 18, 2019
Clearwater (Fla.) Clearwater International defensive end Akheem Mesidor became a primary target for West Virginia from when the Mountaineers first offered in May and that interest only continued to increase after seeing him at a satellite camp. A Canadian import, Mesidor received a long list of scholarship offers but took an official visit to Morgantown during the June 14 weekend which kept the program in the lead throughout after stops at UCLA, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Mesidor was one of the top targets for the program on the board and established a strong bond with lead recruiters Jordan Lesley and Jahmile Addae.
Committed: December 16, 2019
Brooklyn (N.Y.) ASA College offensive tackle Tairiq Stewart moved onto the radar after receiving an offer from West Virginia in the fall and things progressed quickly between the two. He took an official visit to Toledo but then made a stop in Morgantown during the Dec. 13 weekend and committed only a few days after. He is a May graduate and will have three years to play two. Stewart is originally from Cleveland, Ohio.
Committed: December 15, 2019
Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha offensive lineman Jordan White had been committed to Maryland since the spring but elected to open things up in November. West Virginia didn't waste much time jumping into the mix as the Mountaineers offered and then were able to secure an official visit during the Dec. 13 weekend. That trip was enough to close the door and gain a commitment from the versatile lineman.
Committed: December 11, 2019
Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage cornerback Daryl Porter had been on the West Virginia radar since the spring when the program first offered but things heated up between the two down the stretch. After official visits to Utah and Washington State, Porter took an official visit to West Virginia during the Dec. 6 weekend and that was enough to close the deal on his recruitment. The cornerback prospect was recruited by inside wide receivers coach Travis Trickett and his persistence paid off with his pledge.
Committed: December 1, 2019
Bluefield (W.Va.) defensive end Sean Martin received his first offer from West Virginia and the Mountaineers never relented in their pursuit throughout the course of the process. Despite an early commitment to North Carolina, West Virginia remained heavily involved and once he backed off that pledge was in position to land him. Martin took official visits to West Virginia, Penn State, Purdue and North Carolina but in the end the Mountaineers were able to keep the the state's top ranked player home.
Committed: November 24, 2019
Perkinston (Miss.) Gulf Coast C.C. cornerback Jackie Matthews emerged on the radar for West Virginia after the coaches saw him in mid-October. A scholarship offer came a few weeks later and the Mountaineers secured an official visit during the Nov. 22 weekend which led to his commitment. The Alabama native put together a very strong season at the junior college level with 5 interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles which drew the attention of several schools. He will arrive in Morgantown in January with two years of eligibility remaining and has the flexibility to play several spots.
Committed: August 16, 2019
West Virginia looked at a large number of tight end prospects in the 2020 class but it was Wayne (N.J.) De Paul Catholic athlete Charles Finley that rose to the top of the board. The versatile athlete visited Morgantown multiple times and developed a strong connection with lead recruiter Travis Trickett which was critical in his decision making process. Finley made a return trip to Morgantown for the July 25 cookout and that was enough to put the program at the forefront of his recruitment for good. He would pick West Virginia over offers from Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Boston College and several others giving the program the coveted tight end they wanted in the class.
Committed: July 9, 2019
West Virginia was the first scholarship offer for Senatobia (Miss.) Northwest Mississippi C.C. nose guard Quay Mays in late February and that also played a pivotal role in his recruitment. Other scholarships would follow from programs such as Iowa State, North Carolina, Central Florida and Houston, among others, but the connection he made with position coach Jordan Lesley helped make the difference. Mays visited Morgantown officially June 14 and while he took a trip to Iowa State the following weekend the fit with what he wanted to do at nose guard as well as the family connection made the Mountaineers the pick. Mays wouldn't announce his choice until July 9, but he is a nose guard with two years left and will enroll in January.
Committed: July 8, 2019
Savannah (Ga.) Jenkins linebacker Taurus Simmons received an offer from West Virginia in early May which got his attention. But after he took an official visit to West Virginia during the June 14 weekend and was able to see it all for himself, the Mountaineers moved to right at the top of his list. Still, he took a few weeks to think it over before announcing a commitment to the football program July 8 after pledging a few days before. A versatile linebacker, Simmons is being recruited to play the bandit position in the Mountaineers scheme and has the size and athleticism to possible even develop further down the line as he grows into his body.
Committed: June 24, 2019
Council Bluffs (Ia.) Iowa Western C.C. offensive tackle Jacob Gamble became a priority of the West Virginia coaches after taking a visit for junior day in late March where he earned an offer from the program. A native of Ohio, the draw of staying close to home and the opportunities available in Morgantown made the Big 12 Conference program a strong competitor throughout the course of Gamble's recruitment despite more offers to follow such as Florida State and Nebraska. After another visit to campus in mid-June, the junior college prospect announced his commitment a few days later giving the program a ready-made option to step in at left tackle. He will have two years of eligibility remaining but isn't expected to sign in the early period as he addresses his coursework situation in the second semester.
Committed: June 22, 2019
One of the top priorities for West Virginia on the offensive line from the time that the new coaching staff over was Hightstown (N.J.) The Peddie School offensive lineman Chris Mayo. Running backs Chad Scott offered Mayo almost immediately after taking the job in Morgantown and was the first coach to express interest in the offensive lineman when he was a freshman. A junior day stop in February only further reinforced that the Mountaineers were going to be major players in his recruitment as he was able to see the family environment first-hand. The Rivals.com four-star prospect would narrow his list down to a top eight but only take official visits to Kentucky, Purdue and finally West Virginia on the June 14 weekend. After that trip he narrowed his list down to West Virginia and Kentucky and ultimately committed to the Mountaineers due largely to his comfort level with the culture of the program. He is slated to play offensive tackle or guard and is expected to arrive next summer.
Committed: June 20, 2019
West Virginia head coach Neal Brown made in-state recruiting a priority from the minute he took over the football program and those efforts paid off with his first scholarship pledge from inside the Mountain State borders in Fairmont offensive lineman Zach Frazier. The two-way prospect actually held an offer well before Brown arrived on campus after earning one following an impressive camp performance before his junior season and the Mountaineers recruited him hard moving forward. While the in-state program was the first offer for Frazier, he also added scholarships from Stanford, Virginia Tech, Louisville and others. Ultimately the relationships forged with Brown and the new coaches, as well as the proximity led to his commitment on of all days West Virginia day.
Committed: June 18, 2019
It's not often that West Virginia goes international for football recruits but that is exactly what happened in securing the commitment of Filton (England) cornerback Jairo Faverus. A native of Amsterdam, Faverus was part of a college tour of international prospects that brought him to West Virginia for a camp June 14. His impressive performance there was enough to earn him an offer from the Big 12 Conference program joining a list of Penn State, Minnesota and a number of others. A few days later Faverus decided to make the call and commit to the Mountaineers due to his comfort level with the staff and how he could make an impact. He is set to enroll in January and will have his full complement of eligibility remaining.
Committed: June 16, 2019
Things moved quickly between West Virginia and Gaithersburg (Md.) Watkins Mill cornerback David Okoli. The Mountaineers had expressed interest but after a camp stop June 7 where he was impressive not only with his speed but his coverage ability, the Maryland native received an offer from West Virginia. A week to the day he took an official visit to West Virginia where he saw all he needed to see committing to the program at the end of the trip. Since that decision other schools such as Maryland have offered but he has declared that his recruitment is a closed book.
Committed: June 16, 2019
West Virginia initially offered St. Louis (Mo.) De Smet pass rusher Lanell Carr in February and there was interest between the two due to prior connections with offensive recruiting coordinator Scott Gasper from his time at another school. But things really picked up between the two after the spring evaluation period and the coaches were able to see him in-person. Carr had West Virginia and Kansas State as the two favorites in his recruitment and he visited both programs in the same week. First up was an unofficial trip to check out the Wildcats before making an official visit to Morgantown during the June 14 weekend. That was enough for him to make the call and commit to the Mountaineers. He is expected to enroll in the summer with his full eligibility in tact and the pass rusher could end up at linebacker or defensive line.
Committed: April 13, 2019
Bay City (Mi.) Central wide receiver Devell Washington had an offer from West Virginia prior to his junior day visit in February but that is when his recruitment changed. The visit really impressed Washington and the Mountaineers immediately became one of the major players in his recruitment due to the gut feeling he had about the program. At one point he considered a commitment to Purdue but after returning to Morgantown for the Gold-Blue game April 13 he saw enough to end his recruitment and commit to West Virginia. He returned to campus for a camp in June.
Committed: March 7, 2019
The West Virginia coaches were well aware of what Tallahassee (Fla.) Chiles quarterback Garrett Greene brought to the table after seeing him in camp at Troy and being the first school to offer him. A number of other offers followed but West Virginia jumped into the picture with an offer following his visit to campus for a junior day in early March. That offer along with his relationship with the coaches led to Greene committing to the Mountaineers football program a few days later bypassing a number of power five offers. Since his commitment, Greene has become a vocal recruiter in the class and his stock has only continued to rise earning MVP of the Rivals Camp Series stop in Tampa and then competing in the Elite 11 finals. He is expected to enroll at West Virginia in January and returned back to Morgantown in June to compete in a camp. Greene is set to enroll at West Virginia in January.
Committed: March 4, 2019
Danville (Ky.) Boyle County wide receiver Reese Smith was one of the first, if not the first, offer made by Neal Brown when he took the job at West Virginia. He attends the same high school that Brown once did and that connection helped things from the start. Smith took his first visit to Morgantown shortly after the end of the dead period and was highly impressed with the program. Despite other power five offers, Smith came back to West Virginia in early March and decided that he was ready to commit to the Mountaineers being the first in the class to do so. He is likely to enroll in January and will play inside wide receiver for the program once he arrives on campus.
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