Monday, October 24, 2016
battle espn

3* CB prospect Elijah Battle (credit ESPN)

National signing day is just around the corner, the WVU coaching staff is making their rounds to finalize the 2016 class. With many top targets committing to other colleges, the coaching staff has turned their attention to the junior college ranks which could be a very good thing for WVU, especially for immediate needs in the defensive secondary. If they are able to land these talented prospects, they will arrive to Morgantown with something other commits don’t have, experience at the college level. Here’s a look at the top JUCO targets of the Mountaineers;

Cornerbacks Elijah Battle and Mike Daniels are the top targets and I firmly believe that both will be Mountaineers when it’s all said and done. Cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell has visited both targets this week to keep contact with them. Battle flipped to Minnesota on JUCO signing day but has since opened things up and the Mountaineers have stayed in touch. Daniels will be in Morgantown this weekend and could become the next member of the 2016 class this weekend. With the loss of Worley, Chestnut, and Rumph at this position, the coaching staff has turned their attention to upgrade and these two will provide some much needed experience to the position.

One of the newest prospects to the board is DB Toyous Avery who was a Colorado State commit but has since opened it back up once the Mountaineers showed interest. Avery met with new safeties coach Matt Caponi earlier in the week. Caponi extended an offer and Avery is scheduled to be in Morgantown this weekend which I believe will lead him to commit to WVU.

Another top target of Caponi’s is defensive back Lonnie Johnson, who was once an Ohio State commit but was forced to go JUCO for a couple seasons. He is currently committed to Iowa State but tells me that if the Mountaineers offer, he will schedule a visit to the campus before National Signing Day. Johnson has the size to be a force at the cornerback position (6’3 205 lbs.) but it remains to be seen if WVU will offer.

New offensive coordinator Joe Wickline has been out on the recruiting trail as well but he is focusing on his area of expertise which is the offensive line. Wickline has visited D’Tavieus Taylor and Craig Smith. Taylor (6’5 290lbs.) and Smith (6’7 305 lbs.) both will visit the WVU campus before National Signing Day and I expect the Mountaineers to take one of them in this class.

The Mountaineers coaching staff has wasted no time in attempting to fill it’s open spots in this class with experienced players, which will help the rebuild of this defense.