Filling in the Blanks
Mountaineers reel in a Top 25 recruiting class
West Virginia University signed 26 football recruits to national letters of intent on Wednesday, February 20. The 26 member class, ranked 25th nationally by Scout.com, features three junior college players and 23 former prep stars.
The class emphasized defense, especially the defensive secondary. Fifteen of the recruits will suit up on that side of the ball, including five safeties and four cornerbacks. WVU also signed a three future defensive lineman and three linebackers.
On offense, WVU signed four wide receivers, three offensive linemen, two running backs and two quarterbacks.
The class would have been ranked even higher had not Noel Devine, one of the top recruits in the nation, not decided at the last minute to attend prep school and open up his recruiting in 2008.
According to Scout.com, WVU signed four four-star recruits. They include Ellis Lancaster, a 5-11, 190 lb. cornerback out of Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Miss., Gino Gradowski a 6-4, 275 lb. center from Pittsburgh, Pa., Junius Lewis, a 6-3, 265 defensive tackle from Morgantown, along with Charlie Russell, a 6-3, 215 lb. quarterback also from Morgantown.
Ohio produced the most future Mountaineers, six, while they received four commitments from both Florida and Pennsylvania. Three recruits hail from the Mountain State.
Top 25 Class according to Scout.com:
7. South Carolina
11. Notre Dame
13. Miami (Fl)
14. Georgia Tech
15. North Carolina
16. Ohio State
18. Penn State
23. Oklahoma State
24. Virginia Tech
West Virginia just received a 27th letter of intent on Friday, February 16. The Mountaineers decided to roll the dice and sign 6-1, 230 lb. linebacker Pat Lazear from Wheaton, Md. Lazear was convicted of conspiracy to commit an armed robbery during his junior year in high school. The incident, which occurred in March of 2006, led several college programs to back off Lazear. But, WVU, after thorough research, according to head coach Rich Rodriguez, decided to extend Lazear a scholarship.
"Coach Bill Stewart and I have researched Pat's entire situation over several months," Rodriguez said. "We have talked to a number of people, and after a thorough review, I am reassured that Pat Lazear will be a successful student-athlete and a positive member of the university community."