Signing Day is essentially the culmination of an all hands on deck recruiting period, ending with a lot of faxes coming and going through the Athletic Department. Coach Holgorsen and several of his assistant coaches addressed the media after the Mountaineers received their latest teammates and players.
Director of Player Personnel Ryan “Cleveland” Dorchester was in his element on Wednesday, fully enjoying bringing in the newest Mountaineers to the program. Dorchester was quick to point out that when you graduate players, you need to focus on filling those voids and that is just what the coaching staff did Wednesday. “Getting six of them, we are really good, upfront when you start three seniors you’re going to be depleted so we needed to go out and get some junior college guys. Got a couple at mid-term and then got two high school kids that we think can come in here and have a shot to be in the rotation as freshmen. Last year, we pretty much got through the year rotating about five guys up there and this year we probably want to rotate a few more bodies. At receiver when you lose Daikiel (Shorts Jr.), Shelton (Gibson) and (Devonte) Mathis, you lost three guys that played a lot for us and you need to go out and add to it.”
Offensive coach Joe Wickline had the difficult job of attempting to recruit his son, Kelby, to the team. “Well I did (handle recruiting) starting off, but that’s why he left, so I pretty much screwed that up. The unique thing obviously is, he’s an older guy. He didn’t just graduate yesterday, which doesn’t mean anything, but he has kind of a mind of his own. He looked at things from the perspective of academics, the location. Will it benefit me? . . . He went to many places and felt that in the end, not just dad, that West Virginia is one of the top places in the country and that it offers a great education, it offers an opportunity for him to get better, from a football player’s standpoint, from what we offer. Obviously, he likes the area, Morgantown, and everything involved. I mean why wouldn’t you?”
Coach Wickline will now have the trying task of balancing the roles of coach and dad with Kelby on the team. When asked of that balance, Coach Wickline replied “We are fixing to figure that out. I’m doing better. We’ll work that out and it does make you understand the reality that every coach usually says let’s look at this from the perspective of he’s a son and a mom and a dad, and that’s been going on for years though. I know when I was younger that was never a part of the equation. This is what you’re paid to do, so shut up and get it done.”
Wide receivers coach Tyron Carrier was very optimistic about the class when asked, stating “I’m excited about it. It’s a talented room, especially with adding those guys. We have some big bodies in, guys that can come in and play immediately. It makes me really comfortable with the depth of the room and the competition level, more than anything.”
Coach Ja’Juan Seider made comparisons of newcomer Tevin Bush to some familiar names, “He’ll help us on special teams. He’s dynamic. He reminds me a lot of Jock Sanders and Tavon (Austin) or somewhere in between because he can do a lot of the same stuff that they can do. He’s a kid who probably got overlooked to a certain degree because of his height. A lot of people get caught up in stature, but we have won a lot of games with little guys like him too. He’s a competitor and the kid knows how to compete. He’s tough.”When asked what was most important to Coach Blue Adams, the cornerbacks coach replied “Getting good players, getting good players. That’s the most important to me. Getting good players. Good players make great coaches. They make a great coach out of you. You get poor players, you have to prove your worth in terms of coaching.”
While something an event such as National Signing Day is something that has a overtly positive tone, it is extremely encouraging to see the day play out as planned by the coaching staff. The Mountaineer coaches have worked practically around the clock to ensure the signees that signed Wednesday. Now, the coaches have a short period of time to recover and relax before spring practice picks up. Football season will be back before we know it.