by Jim Buzzerd
A couple weeks ago, right before Coronavirus rudely interrupted our lives, the West Virginia University football program received a significant 2021 verbal commitment from Spring Valley tackle Wyatt Milum. Milum was a top target for Neal Brown and his staff as the coach, now entering his second season at the helm at WVU, has made recruiting top in state talent a priority. Milum fits that bill, as the 6-6, 280 prospect is rated as high as the 24th overall player in the 2021 class according to one rating service.
Milum is a national recruit who had trimmed his list to a top six which included West Virginia, Notre Dame, Penn State, Alabama, Virginia Tech and Kentucky, but held offers from a long list of others which also included LSU, Miami, Georgia, Florida State and more.
West Virginia doesn’t often win those kinds of recruiting battles, but credit here goes to Brown and offensive line coach Matt Moore. You may as well add the entire staff and the culture they are building at WVU. Being an in state prospect probably helped WVU to attract Milum to Morgantown, but Brown and his staff have shown they aren’t afraid to battle the blue bloods for national recruits.
West Virginia missed on the top two in-state players in the Class of 2019, both of whom were offensive linemen; Spring Valley’s Doug Nester and Huntington’s Darnell Wright. Nester cracked the starting lineup at Virginia Tech as a freshman, and Wright did the same at Tennessee. The duo signed a month after Brown took over for Dana Holgorsen at WVU.
Even though those two had been committed to their respective schools, Brown reached out in a last minute attempt to sway them. Brown’s first recruiting class after a full season was the recently signed 2020 class that is ranked 28th by Rivals. That is considerably higher than the norm for WVU. Those who follow recruiting much closer than I, say Brown is on a pace to eclipse the recent class with the 2021 class.
Now, keep fingers crossed so we can regain some normalcy to our lives.