It has been plastered everywhere about Dana Holgorsen saying they couldn’t get the kids to West Virginia to win a big 12 title. That was met with some serious push back from recruits and fans alike.
Holgorsen didn’t recruit heavily in the Northeast and saw plenty of the top recruits in state leave. He had a philosophy of pushing for recruits in the Florida but it never really panned out.
Now with Neal Brown in the mix, he is making a push to bring back the recruits in their region of the country. West Virginia found plenty of talent in the New Jersey area before Holgorsen and they are trying to get back to that. While plenty of talent joined the Mountaineers from New Jersey up to 2013, they haven’t landed anything since. QB Chris Chugunov was the only New Jersey player during that time but they have tapped back in.
The 2020 class locked up a commitment from Aaron Lewis out of Williamstown NJ. The defensive end had offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and a host of others. This is the type of players that West Virginia would have missed out on during the Holgorsen era. While Florida is a breeding ground for top end athletes, it doesn’t make sense for West Virginia. They don’t play in Florida so it is tough to get in front of the recruits that Dana Holgorsen was pursuing. While it isn’t the quite the South, there is plenty of talent in and around West Virginia that they could capitalize on.
Lewis isn’t the only recruit that the Mountaineers have targeted out of New Jersey and it appears he won’t be the only commit. 247 Sports has predicted that a number of players from New Jersey are projected to commit to West Virginia as well.
After years of not getting to a Big 12 title and lacking the recruits Dana couldn’t convince, it is time for some change. It may take a few years to get the program built up, but new life could be what the Mountaineers need.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. I have covered college football since 2017, wrote for Saturday Tailgate and Fansided. Covering all things Big 12 from recruiting to opinions on the best conference in college football.