There was a big difference in the 2016 class as opposed to previous classes at WVU, it featured minimum prospects from the state of Florida which has been so good to WVU over the years. QB Cody Saunders and OL Craig Smith are the only two commitments in the 2016 class from the state of Florida although Smith will come from Texas after attending Junior College. Now with the 2016 class behind us, the WVU coaching staff is poised to get back into Florida and this week has shown just how serious they are about it.
The WVU coaching staff has extended numerous offers to several prospects in the state of Florida including six in the last 24 hours. Running back Coach JaJuan Seider is the main recruiter with these offers but the Mountaineers also have an new coach that can recruit in Florida, new offensive coordinator Joe Wickline. These two coaches should be able to change some of the Mountaineers luck from the last recruiting class and the reputation that follows each speaks for itself when I recruits speak of them. “It’s an honor that Coach Seider sees me as a Mountaineer given the players that have been through WVU,” one recruit told me.
Even with the coaching staff extending offers in Florida, there are new perspectives that WVU is using including on the West Coast. New safeties coach Matt Caponi is heading up that job given that his familiarity with that part of the country and it appears to be trending in the Mountaineers favor. WVU will host a highly regarded QB prospect next week from California which is something you don’t see too often in WVU recruiting.
The Mountaineers coaching staff seems to have zeroed in on getting back into the state of Florida but there are now new challenges that could make that tough. UCF has hired Scott Frost, former OC at Oregon, and Miami hired Mark Richt, who we have already seen swoop in and take TE Jovani Haskins from WVU. Richt has the credentials to keep the Florida prospects in Florida which will hurt WVU in that area but if Frost can turn UCF into half of what Oregon is then that will create a big problem for WVU. Another factor not going in the Mountaineers favor is they no longer play games in the state of Florida so there isn’t a chance for a recruit to go back home to play in front of his family which the other Florida schools offer.
Even with the hurdles that come with recruiting in Florida, which was seen in the 2015 class, the Mountaineers coaching staff is prepared to get back into the state and bring the top talent to Morgantown.