The jury may still be out (pun intended) on whether West Virginia University will be playing in the Big East or Big 12 next fall, but the importance of the state of Florida in recruiting hasn't changed.
With the Mountaineers (9-3, 5-2 Big East) still weeks away from their clash with Clemson in the Orange Bowl, WVU picked up verbal commitments from a pair of safeties that call the Sunshine State home.
Sean Walters from Hallandale High School in Hallandale, Fla., and Kimlon Dillon from Apopka Senior High School in Apopka, Fla., are the latest prep players to announce their intentions to come to Morgantown following their graduations.
The duo brings the number of players expected to sign their names on national letter of intent signing day on the first Wednesday in February to 25 and gives first-year head coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff a class that easily will be ranked among the Top 25 in the country.
With recruiting remaining an ongoing affair during the upcoming week, it is nearly assured that the Class of 2012 will have more than the allotted 25 signees that the NCAA allows per season. That means that several of the players who have agreed to come to Morgantown could be enrolled as early as January-which officially makes them a member of the Class of 2011-or will gray shirt and come in as part of the Class of 2013.
Holgorsen and his staff would have appeared to solved their depth problems at quarterback with the expected signing of Texas signal-caller Ford Childress (Kinkaid High School, Houston) and New Jersey standout Brandon Napoleon (St. Peters Preparatory School, Jersey City). Both are rated 3-star quarterbacks and appear to fit the mold of what WVU's head coach is looking for in a quarterback.
Competition at the running back and wide receiver positions also looks to become more fierce with the addition of three running backs and six receivers in the newest class and the defense hasn't been neglected as Walters and Dillon bring the total number of safeties in the Class of 2012 to six.
Early analysis of this class does show some deficiencies, however, especially in the trenches where only two offensive linemen and four defensive linemen have expressed an interest in coming to the Mountain State.
With the expected loss of redshirt seniors Don Barclay and Tyler Rader from the offensive front as well as Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin on the defensive line, one would have thought that Holgorsen and his assistants-especially offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich-would have concentrated more on those two areas.
But with nearly two full months of recruiting left, it would not be unexpected to see several new names added to the Class of 2012.
The most important thing to remember about verbal commitments is that they are verbal.
As we have seen time and time again, players occasionally will change their minds and coaching staff tend to over recruit knowing that they may lose a player or two on signing day.
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org