Seven days, or one week. Which ever way you look at it, that's when Mountaineer fans will know the members of the football recruiting class of 2012.
Five players, including highly touted quarterback Ford Childress from Kinkaid High School in Houston, Texas, have elected to enroll for the January term of class so that they might participate in spring drills when they begin in late March or early April.
But, second-year head coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff-minus the trio that departed Morgantown to join former head coach Rich Rodriguez at Arizona-have been working overtime to make this class one of the best in the school's history.
Most recently, junior college offensive tackle Mark Glowinski gave his verbal commitment to join WVU next season. That same day, 3-star middle linebacker Garrett Hope of The Woodlands High School in The Woodlands, Texas, made his choice the Mountaineers.
That pair lifted the total number of recruits expected in this year's class to 26 with as many as five more possible before the final list comes out on Feb. 1.
One would have to believe that Holgorsen will utilize all of his available scholarships on National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Unlike his predecessor, who used only 18 for the class of 2011.
The class is even on both the offensive and defensive side with 13 players penciled in on both sides of the football. But, after watching WVU's special teams woes this past season, it would not be surprising to see the staff go after a highly-rated kicker/punter. And, with the graduation of former Parkersburg South standout Cody Nutter, a new long snapper will have to be found before the old gold and blue opens the 2012 campaign.
Another area in need of immediate help would be the defensive front, where the loss of seniors Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin leave the next defensive coordinator with a huge hole to fill. Add to that the loss of Najee Goode at linebacker and the defense will undergo a huge change.
Some of that change will be tempered by the expected improvement of linemen J.B. Lageman, C.J. Huffman, Will Clarke and Ted Rietschlin and Goode's backup in the middle, Jewone Snow, but some also will have to come from this year's class.
Hope (6-3, 230) appears to be one player that could step in and give immediate relief at linebacker while 3-star defensive tackle Christian Brown (6-2, 290) could be a player fans should keep on their radar to shore up the Mountaineers' front.
Offensively, the return of WVU's top weapons-Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey-and a healthy Dustin Garrison should give fans a lot to cheer about in 2012. The front five should be better with the return of former Parkersburg standout Josh Jenkins and the improvement of players like Quinton Spain, Curtis Feigt and Pat Eger.
This team possesses the offensive weapons to score in any league, whether it be the Big 12 or the Big East (my bet is on the first). Spring drills can't come too soon for most fans, but for me, it's one week from today.
Contact Jim Butta at email@example.com