Welcome to our weekly wrap-up of everything happening with West Virginia football recruiting. In this edition, we discuss the Mountaineers’ recruiting plans as spring practice continues.
West Virginia has offered a scholarship to a player who sets himself apart for numerous reasons from most recruits.
First, David Ojabo is one of the few recruits nationally who grew up in Scotland. Ojabo has played football for only a season because of his move to the United States.
The 6-6, 245 pound Ojabo also has stunning size for his position of safety. That size has some program already considering moving him to linebacker or stand-up defensive end if he can keep his speed and grows as he matures.
The Blairstown (N.J.) Academy product caught the attention of West Virginia safeties coach Matt Caponi during a recent swing through the Garden State.
It led Ojabo to adding the Mountaineers to a list of other top national programs, he told Chris Anderson of 247Sports.com.
“My coach told me that they were interested and told me to give Coach Caponi a call,” Ojabo told Anderson. “He offered the scholarship and I was very surprised because I wasn’t in much contact with them prior to this.”
Earlier he had picked up a slew of national offers from national powers like Nebraska, Tennessee, Duke, Maryland, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Syracuse, Tennessee Arizona State and Rutgers, according to Pittsburgh Sports Now. The 3-star recruit is listed as a strong-side defensive end for his recruiting grades, even as he roams secondaries in high school.
Truthfully, none of the schools mean that much to Ojabo, who hasn’t developed allegiances to any school because he is new to the country. His family still lives in Scotland and he boards at the academy.
“It’s very tough for me getting to know any schools that offer me because I have no prior knowledge of them, being that I’m from Scotland and came over last year,” he told 247Sports.com.
But it does appear that he was swayed by the recent offer from Tennessee and new coach Jeremy Pruitt. The Vols were the first Southeastern Conference school to offer him, he told Brian Dohn of 247Sports.com.
And it’s been hinted he could be offered by Urban Meyer and Ohio State, Alex Gleitman of Bucknuts.com said.
It appears the Mountaineers will have a stiff battle for the Class of 2019 recruit. But the uniqueness of his size and upbringing will make him an intriguing recruit wherever he ends up.
West Virginia class rankings this week
With no new players added, the Mountaineers dropped to No. 27 this week after being ranked No. 24 last week in the most recent 247Sports composite team rankings. Their late slide pushes them to fifth among Big 12 schools for the Class of 2019, trailing Oklahoma (No. 8 nationally), TCU (No. 10), Iowa State (No. 18) and Texas (No. 21.)
Coach Dana Holgorsen is sifting through his opportunities for quarterbacks in the Class of 2019.
After 4-start recruit Sam Howell of Sun Valley High School in Monroe (N.C.) was the first of the heralded top recruits to visit, the Mountaineers could be in line to woo another.
Garrett Schrader, the nation’s No. 13 ranked dual-threat quarterback apparently plans to be on the Mountaineers campus next week. He tells 247 Sports that his leading candidates remain Mississippi State, Penn State and West Virginia are his favored schools. But he has made repeated visits to Mississippi State and South Carolina over recent weeks.
Schrader passed for 2,302 yards and 24 touchdowns with 6 interceptions last season. He also averaged more than 9 yards per carry, rushing for 791 yards and 10 touchdowns for Charlotte (N.C.) Christian High School.
He recently told Matt Connolly of The State that he had visited Will Muschamp’s program “more than a dozen times” over the last 18 months.
“Just seeing how other places stack up to it and trying to compare and feel it out,” Schrader said. “And mainly because it’s so close to home I can easily get there and back in a day.”
Whether the Mountaineers can crack that hammerlock of good will might be debatable.
But just getting him to visit the campus is an indicator of his interest in the program.
Offers, by the numbers
Reported offers: 164
5-star offers: 5
4-star offers: 42
In-state recruits offered: 5
Texas recruits offered: 6
Georgia recruits offered: 30
Florida recruits offered: 24
North Carolina recruits offered: 22
Ohio recruits offered: 17
Pennsylvania recruits offered: 17
OLB Lee Kpogba, 3 stars, Parkland (Winston Salem, N.C.)
DE Jalen Thornton, 3 stars, Indian Hill (Cincinnati, Ohio)
OLB Dewayne Grantham, 3 stars, Martinsburg, W. Va.
K Kolton McGhee, 3 stars, Bishop Guilfoyle (Altoona, Pa.)
4 top uncommitted targets
3-star G Jakai Moore, Patriot (Nokesville, Va.)
The massive 6-6, 295-pound Jakai Moore inspected West Virginia during his visit to the school earlier this week.
The Mountaineers offered him last month. It joins them with 16 Power-5 schools that have given him verbal scholarship offers.
Virginia, Virginia Tech and Penn State also are among his favorites, according to 247Sports.
He plans to concentrate on visiting Big Ten schools for the next several weeks. He has said he will visit Maryland this week, Penn State next week and Ohio State afterwards
Moore ranks as the 20th-ranked offensive guard prospect nationally, per the 247Sports composite.
South Carolina was expected to be Moore’s early favorite, but now appears to be intrigued by Big Ten schools, according to Brian Dohn of 247Sports.com.
3-star S Tykee Smith, Imhotep Institute (Philadelphia)
Tykee Smith visited both West Virginia and Clemson two weeks ago.
His ranking dipped in January after he started the year as a 4-star recruit.
He earlier was a 4-star recruit whose ranking dipped in January.
The Mountaineers have already offered the 5-10, 190-pound Smith, as has Baylor. He’s also earned offers from Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina, Vanderbilt and Duke.
Many recruiters consider him a tad small. Most major schools prefer larger, more physical players at the position.
West Virginia offered Smith nearly a year ago. There appears to be no rush as he appears set to wait on his decision for several months.
Smith places as the 336th-best player in the nation and the fourth-best Pennsylvania prospect.
3-star T Triston Miller, Country Day (Charlotte, N.C.)
After earlier committing to Wake Forest, Triston Miller opened his recruiting to a wide group of suitors.
The 6-6, 275-pound Miller already has size that causes recruiters to become excited. And they think he can grow bigger in the future.
Miller visited Tennessee last weekend, but seems to have no real favorites at this point.
Other schools catching his attention include Georgia Tech, Purdue, Virginia, Kentucky and Charlotte.
“I was really excited about it because I thought my recruitment had kinda slowed down after I committed to Wake,” Miller tells 247Sports.com’s Steve Clark. “All those new offers came in all around at once, it was very exciting.
“Especially when I got offers from West Virginia and Tennessee, it really shocked me that they offered me. I’ve always thought how great it would be to play in like the Big 12 or the SEC or ACC, so now it’s great that I have the opportunity to potentially play in one of those conferences.”
3-star WR Yusuf Terry, Imhotep Institute (Philadelphia)
Yusef Terry picked up his most recent scholarship offer when Virginia made that commitment:
— 8️⃣ (@YTerry_) March 15, 2018
The 6-3, 170-pound Terry is versatile and can play both outside and a slot receiver. He has received scholarship offers from Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Maryland and the Mountaineers.
Terry’s length and jumping ability give him a chance over smaller defensive backs. His strength also provides him with an opportunity to get off the line of scrimmage quickly. He also has much upside for development.
His recruiting trip to Morgantown apparently went well as this tweet would seem to indicate.
— 8️⃣ (@YTerry_) March 5, 2018
But a couple of days later he fired off a similar tweet of him in a Clemson uniform. His lack of subsequent commentary about West Virginia in recent weeks has been telling. Could it indicate the Mountaineers’ chances are waning compared to other schools?
Here is a breakdown of the four Mountaineers signees to date by position. West Virginia expects to sign 26 players in this class.
DL: 1/4 (Thornton)
OLB: 2/2 (Grantham, Kpogba)
K: 1/1 (McGhee)
Here is a breakdown of West Virginia’s four current commits by state:
North Carolina: 1 (Kpogba)
Ohio: 1 (Thornton)
Pennsylvania: 1 (McGhee)
West Virginia: 1 (Grantham)
Miss a previous edition? Find our weekly West Virginia recruiting update here each week.
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