I would like to see your comments about how you feel regarding the upcoming football season. A brief breakdown of each game
Fellow staff writer Marc Basham and I will be addressing this in an article that should be available very soon. Not sure on the predictions, but you will get our early takes on the games as well as positional previews and breakdowns for the entire team.
Maybe an update in the all the guys who as of now have decided to officially visit this season?
While most of the dates are still in the process of being finalized there are a couple that have been set. Most notably Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek running back Zaire Williams for the Marshall game and Wilmington (De.) St. Elizabeth wide receiver Andre Patton also will visit in September. Most of the prospects from Florida and Texas that haven't been to campus will be making official visits, as well as some of the local prospects and the dates will become much clearer as the season approaches.
With all of the offers out for 2013-14 bball recruits, and our current scholarship situation, something does not add up. How many players are we taking for 2013 and 2014? Have our plans recently changed for players that are currently committed to WVU? (Macon, Adrian)
To my knowledge no it hasn't. Next season you will have Deniz Kilicli, Dominique Rutledge and Matt Humphrey exhausting their eligibility at season's end and then if Aaric Murray reaches his potential there could be the possibility that he could jump to the pros, which would open up four scholarships. Currently the class has three members if you include Macon, so the numbers are even at this point, but if Murray does opt to leave early or if there are any additional attrition there will be room for more players.
Maybe they are not yet starting or even on the two deep, but how are some of these young guys progressing:
OL: Haughton-James, Lucas, Jackson
DL: Demko, Rose
DBs: Kwiatkoski, Chestnut, Petteway
All of these players are making progress. The redshirt freshmen offensive linemen will be in the mix for depth purposes but it remains to be seen if they will be able to break through into the starting lineup. In the spring, offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh challenged the second team to put more pressure on the first team unit and pick up their level of play.
On the defensive line, we had a recent update on Kyle Rose and he's up around 50-pounds to a solid 270 after his redshirt year and he's spent time learning all three positions on the line in order to provide depth this season. Haven't spoken with Trevor Demko since the spring but I'd imagine it's much of the same there as the redshirt sophomore continues to develop.
For the remaining three, Nick Kwiatkoski made the move and dropped down to inside SAM linebacker in the spring and was competing with Isaiah Bruce opposite of Doug Rigg and Jared Barber. Shaq Petteway is played the STAR position in the absence of Terence Garvin during the spring and should be a factor with depth this season. Terrell Chestnut continues to improve from the injuries that have plagued him since he arrived on campus, and had a solid spring. Due to depth you could see him on the field this fall, but he's still working towards getting back to 100-percent.
Also, what incoming freshman has the best chance to contribute from day one?
Aside from the players that already arrived during the spring, my personal picks for the best chances for an immediate impact are wide receivers Devonte Robinson, Will Johnson and Travares Copeland along with any of the defensive linemen. I think there will be opportunities for those players to carve out a role and due to the ability to get wide receivers the ball and depth should provide chances for any of the defensive linemen to see the field.
How far are the Big 12 teams from signing off on the 13-year rights agreement.....any ideas?
New commissioner Bob Bowlsby has been quoted as saying schools have signed but there seems to be conflicting information on that at this point. We are working on getting further details now.
Any Jr college D -line prospects?..Not expecting another Irvin, but there seems to be serious depth issues..
The big names to watch are a pair of Kansas defensive linemen in Hutchinson C.C. defensive tackle Toby Johnson and Dodge City C.C. defensive end Marcus Hardison but with offers from many major programs both will be considerably difficult to pull out of the junior college ranks. Still there are others that are being monitored by the coaching staff, and it wouldn't surprise me to see them go that route during this cycle.
What is the timetable for any upgrades to football facilities (IPF, concourse, weight room, etc.)?
As recruits have already mentioned, the weight room will be getting a complete upgrade to be ready for next season. As for the rest it is part of a continued effort to upgrade the facilities and it's something that will more than likely be addressed sooner than later.
Is it assumed we won't see McManus or Lebbie at WVU?
I don't think it's safe to assume either are absolutely not happening yet. Sam Lebbie has the more difficult road as he is currently taking summer classes, but Deontay McManus is one that could very well be playing for the Mountaineers this fall.
Do you think we will see more recruit interest this season after we play our first Big XII slate, or will it be a couple years?
This is one that could be directly related to performance. While it isn't the end all, be all in recruiting a strong showing on the field can only help your efforts and with the start the class has had, a very strong season will only add to the program's intrigue in the eyes of recruits. Regardless in theory you should see a natural up-tick in the overall quality of players the Mountaineers are able to attract due to the rise in competition level, but the actual results remain to be seen.
Which coaches cover which recruiting territories?
Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson will continue to handle the Houston, Texas areas and the Mississippi JUCO colleges as well as some spot work in Louisiana. Running backs coach Robert Gillespie handles south Florida, offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh covers western Ohio and the Midwest and quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital is overtop of eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
On the defensive side co-defensive coordinator Joe DeForest handles northern Florida, fellow co-defensive coordinator Keith Patterson will handle the Dallas, Texas recruiting base to go along with junior college recruiting in Kansas, defensive line coach Erik Slaughter covers recruiting in central Florida, assistant head coach Steve Dunlap will continue to recruit western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio and finally cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts will oversee Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.
What is the latest with Kyle Meadows and Na'Ty Rodgers? Is there a "sleeper" OL that we are talking to?
Meadows, a three-star offensive tackle from Ohio, visited campus recently and while attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful, I've been told the visit went very well. West Virginia is certainly in the mix here, and he could decide before the season or let his recruitment go into the year. Ohio State is one to watch here because an offer from the Buckeyes could really shake things up. As for Rodgers he originally had intended to make it back to West Virginia for another visit but that has not happened yet. That one appears to be leaning towards slipping away. Two names to keep an eye on here especially if they visit is Ponte Vedra (Fla.) offensive guard Lucas Crowley who's mentioned making a stop at the end of the month and current Florida commitment Delray Beach (Fla.) tackle Roderick Johnson, who plans to officially visit the Mountaineers this fall and has a close relationship with running backs coach Robert Gillespie and some of the current West Virginia players including 2012 signee Devonte Robinson.
Do we have a shot at Donovan Munger or Monty Nelson? Again, is there a "sleeper" DL we are talking to?
Munger remains on the board and much like Meadows on the offensive line; the team to keep a close eye on is Ohio State. While they've offered him, it's unclear if they are full at the position after taking Pendleton (S.C.) four-star defensive tackle Michael Hill. If the Buckeyes are out of the running the chances will improve greatly. Nelson on the other hand, had originally listed West Virginia in his top five schools but in recent weeks has not named the Mountaineers among his top options. Two to keep a close eye on here are Plant City (Fla.) DL Devyn Salmon and Jacksonville (Fla.) DT Kingsley Opara; both have the Mountaineers near the top of their lists. The sleeper although not by rankings is Orange Park (Fla.) four-star defensive lineman [db]De'Asian Richardson who will visit in late July.
By all sources West Virginia still remains in a strong position for Boyd, a four-star prospect, although Penn State has made this race much more interesting due to his on field chemistry with current Nittany Lions quarterback commitment Christian Hackenburg. Still Boyd is friends with WVU quarterback commit Chavas Rawlins and also is a fan of the Mountaineers spread offense. Patton recently informed WVSports.com that West Virginia remains the leader in his recruitment and he could potentially commit when he makes it in for a visit either later this summer or in the fall on an official visit.