The Significance of the West Virginia Mountaineers 2013 Recruiting Class

By Mike Atkinson
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers finished signing day with the 24th best recruiting class in the country.

This is an acceptable feat for most schools, but is an extraordinary accomplishment for WVU. Why is this such a big deal for WVU, you ask?

Well, it is important for several reasons. First off, this is, hands down, the best Mountaineer recruiting class I have seen in my lifetime. WVU has always brought in the recruits it needed to, but the first key difference about this year’s recruiting class, is that nearly all of the recruits WVU brought in were recruited heavily and received scholarship offers from other major programs.

In the past, it was common to see WVU target players whose lists included mid-major caliber schools, with WVU being the recruit’s best offer in hand. This year, WVU was able to grab recruits who chose WVU instead of other big time programs. This is important because it shows the difference in caliber between recruits from the past and current recruits.

For instance, Ronald Carswell, a junior college wide receiver, played receiver for the Alabama Crimson Tide, before transferring to junior college. Now, he’s a Mountaineer. The fact that this kid was recruited by Nick Saban and played some football for the Tide should tell a lot about the skill level of this player.

Also, WVU managed to steal solid verbal commits from a number of different schools. This is something WVU has never really been able to do in the past. This is good news for Mountaineer fans and the WVU football program as a whole. This year’s recruiting class put WVU back on the map as a popular destination to play football. This shows that recruits chose WVU, not just because it was the only good offer they got, but because they wanted to play football in Morgantown.

See, WVU doesn’t have a metro, downtown area to pull players from. The location alone provides the school a challenge. The fact that WVU has been competing with big time programs without the recruiting advantage that many other prestigious schools have is nothing short of amazing. Now, it has been able to land a number of big name recruits that are capable of making WVU competitive for years to come.

It may not happen immediately, but when it does, this recruiting class will cause a snowball effect for WVU. When these players develop, WVU will become increasingly competitive. As that happens, their recruiting influence will grow as well. Before long, WVU may be able to compile even better recruiting classes than this one.

Head Coach Dana Holgorsen said he is already begun recruiting for the 2014 season.

WVU may need a year to let these kids learn Holgorsen’s system, but once they do, watch out for the Mountaineers in years to come.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.

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