by Jim Buzzerd
Just going to touch on a few things related West Virginia University athletics today. I’ve touched on football recruiting lately and will do so again. New head coach Neal Brown and his staff have been busy recruiting since he was hired in January. The impression I get is the staff isn’t afraid to beat the bushes and go toe to toe with the big boys of college football. Now it appears the Mountaineers are going international with their recruiting efforts.
West Virginia recently announced two commitments from Europe. The first is cornerback Jairo Faverus from England. The 6-0, 190 Faverus had offers from Cincinnati, Georgia Tech and others. He will be a member of the 2020 recruiting class.
Last week WVU received a commitment from Sweden’s Victor Wikstrom, a tight end prospect who will only be a junior this fall making him a member of the 2021 class. Wikstrom participated in one of West Virginia’s camps this June as part of an American tour of college football camps. He also earned offers from Georgia Tech and Eastern Michigan after camping at those campuses.
Wikstrom is already 6-3, 225 and running a 4.5 40-yard dash. With those kind of wheels he could be a threat from anywhere on the field. As with all these commitments, they don’t mean much until they are signed and with Wikstrom that means there is about 17 months for other schools to go to work on flipping him.
The WVU basketball team will be heading to Spain next month for a three game exhibition tour. I have no idea what the caliber of competition will be in Spain, but WVU is scheduled to play the Madrid All Stars on August 6, Valencia Basketball Academy on the ninth and the Barcelona All Stars on the 11th.
West Virginia had its first practice last Wednesday and there were 10 scholarship players on the court: Jordan McCabe, Jermaine Haley, Emmitt Matthews, Derek Culver, Oscar Tshiebwe, Chase Harler, Brandon Knapper, Sean McNeil, Miles McBride … and Logan Routt.
Coach Bob Huggins said Routt is back on scholarship. The fifth-year senior forward was a walk-on for his first two seasons, on scholarship for the 2017-18 season and back to being a walk on last season.
“He deserves it,” head coach Bob Huggins said, noting that Routt, who is from Cameron, has been on the state’s Promise Scholarship as a walk-on, but that the athletic scholarship is much different. “He’s been great. He’s like, ‘Coach, if you need a scholarship, that’s fine.’ He’s never felt left out or anything like that.”
That casts doubt whether junior college signees Tajzmel Sherman and Ethan Richardson will be enrolled for summer classes and eligible to make the trip to Spain. Based simply on video and scouting notes, Sherman looks like a solid addition for next season while Richardson may need some time to adapt to Big 12 basketball.