Thursday, May 25, 2017

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–There is always drama and suspense leading up to National Signing Day which has become the most important day to college football teams all around the country but that wasn’t the case this afternoon for the West Virginia Mountaineers. Today saw head coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff ink every committed player that was expected to sign.

West Virginia failed to sign a quarterback in this class which concerns some fans but don’t forget that WVU has Will Grier (JR), Chris Chugunov (SO), and Cody Saunders (FR). There is youth at the position but as we have seen before you can never have enough experience at the quarterback position.

Two strengths that West Virginia walked away with in this class are defensive line and defensive backfield which should make defensive coordinator Tony Gibson a very happy man. The defensive line was in need of the most work but the coaching staff addressed that with the additions of DT Lamonte McDougle, DE Ezekiel Rose, DT Jalen Harvey, and DE Darius Stills. It will be interesting to see what Tony Gibson does with DE/LB Quondarius Qualls as he has the ability play either DE or LB which will allow WVU to get creative with him similar to the way they used Bruce Irvin and Shaq Reddick.

The defensive backfield will get a huge boost with the return of Dravon Askew-Henry, who missed last season with a torn ACL but many key pieces were added today. CB Exree Loe and CB Hakeem Bailey have a chance to see the most early playing time with the departures at the position. EJ Brown has the skill set and hitting ability very similar to what WVU fans saw in Karl Joseph but Collin Smith, Ricky Johns, and Derrek Pitts all have a chance to see early playing time in the rebuilt Mountaineer defense.

West Virginia also signed LB Kenny Robinson who has the athletic ability to play either linebacker or safety in the 3-3-5 scheme and don’t forget that WVU will get Brendan Ferns back this season from a torn ACL.

The offense will still have the same explosive look that fans have become used to seeing but there will be a few new names out there this season but one very familiar name.

Former QB/WR David Sills left the program to attend a JUCO school in California but in a surprise move made his way back to WVU and looks to have the inside track to start at WR this season with Gibson and Shorts leaving.

WVU also added Reggie Roberson and Dominique Maiden to the fold at wide receiver. Roberson has a special skill set that Holgorsen likes in his receivers but Maiden could benefit the most with his size (6’6) especially in the red zone. Again though don’t forget that West Virginia will also have electrifying threat Steven Smothers, who redshirted last season.

Speaking of electrifying, Tevin Bush is just that when he has the ball in his hands. Bush can be used similar to the way that Coach Holgorsen used Tavon Austin but Bush will also be a big contributor in the special teams department. Alec Sinkerfield will bring more depth to the already loaded running back position but might have the best pass catching ability on any back on the roster.

The offensive line added a few key pieces that will bring versatility to an already veteran unit. Isaiah Hardy is perhaps the biggest piece to that puzzle. Kelby Wickline and Tyler Thurmond will also be key members of this unit with Thurmond being mainly used at tackle while Wickline and Hardy can play guard or tackle.

The biggest quote to take away from this day is when Holgorsen said in his annual signing day conference that the Mountaineers “aren’t done” with this class.

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