College Football Recruiting: West Virginia Mountaineers Putting Together Good Offensive Nucleus

By Rick Stavig
Dana Holgorsen
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Fact: the West Virginia Mountaineers has one of the most prolific offenses in the country in 2012. Another fact: WVU lost star quarterback Geno Smith (second-round draft pick by New York Jets), and his two favorite receivers, Stedman Bailey (third round, St. Louis Rams) and Tavon Austin (first round, St. Louis Rams) to the NFL.

Along with them go 4,205 passing yards, 42 touchdown passes, 2,911 receiving yards, 37 touchdown receptions and 656 rushing yards.

That’s an awful lot of offense to replace.  To compound matters, the guys who are supposed to replace the recently departed rock stars are all underclassmen. Needless to say, offensive skill positions are a high priority for Dana Holgorsen’s 2014 recruiting class. And it’s slowly, but steadily, coming together.

4-star quarterback William Crest (Baltimore, MD) announced his pledge to the Mountaineers 2014 recruiting class back in April, and he looks like he could absolutely thrive in Holgorsen’s spread attack. Depending on how the Paul Millard/ Clint Trickett/ Ford Childress combination plays this year, and if Crest continues his meteoric progression, he could have a chance to win the starting job in 2014.

I wouldn’t be surprised, though, even considering the commitment of Crest, if the ‘Neers tried to add one more gunslinger for depth purposes.

Obviously West Virginia is going to need plenty of targets for Crest to throw to, and the Mountaineers currently have three receivers committed. Ricky Rogers (Monroeville, PA), Jacob McCrary (Miami, FL) and Lamar Parker (Miami, FL) all have the playmaking skills Holgorsen and co. covet.

WVU beat out Rogers’ hometown Pittsburgh Panthers for his verbal, and McCrary and Parker both have multiple offers from SEC schools, yet still want to head north to the heart of Appalachia. Considering how incredibly young the Mountaineers receiving corps will be in 2013, all three of the aforementioned pass catchers could vie for immediate playing time.

The fifth and final commitment belongs to local prospect Amanii Brown (Morgantown, WV) — an athletic, yet underrated, offensive tackle.

All in all, the Mountaineers are putting together a decent group of offensive skill players. But that won’t be enough, and Holgorsen knows this. The Mountaineers still need to add playmakers in the secondary to face the ridiculous pass attacks found in the Big 12, and can always use more help up front.

The ‘Neers have a long way to go until they have the type of class Holgorsen is looking for, but there’s nearly eight months until National Signing Day 2014, and how the ‘Neers look on the field this year will go a long way in developing this class.

Regardless of how the offense looks this fall, expect some big-time playmakers to enter the fold in ’14.

Rick Stavig is a National Recruiting Columnist for Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on google.

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