Rich Rod was able to find incredible success and was a disaster against Pitt away from a shot at a title. While some have had success since his time, nobody has quite reached the levels that Rodriguez did.
A big reason for all his success was his recruiting and getting some serious talent to Morgantown. But with that serious talent came some serious problems with on and off the field behavior.
Charles Pugh, Eddie Collington, James Ingram, John Holmes and Pacman Jones are just a few names with criminal history during and right after the Rich Rod era. Rodriguez brought in plenty of talent and some of them were cast offs or the undesirable players because of a sketchy background.
While this isn’t an endorsement to bring in full blown criminals. Going a different route could be the way to go for The Mountaineers.
Putting a focus on JUCO players could give West Virginia some quick success. Some players go the JUCO route for grades or criminal trouble, there are some talented players that fall through the cracks.
Getting high end talent to come to Morgantown can be a difficult feat. According to 247 Sports, the highest rated recruit in the 2020 class is rated as the 426 best player. While there is still time, that won’t cut it in an incredibly competitive Big 12.
The transfer portal and JUCO could play a major role for Neal Brown to gain some traction. While Brown seems to be the real deal, he still has to prove this and he lost most of the talent that made WVU good the last two years.
As great as Morgantown is, you’re trying to convince kids to come play for you instead of Texas or Oklahoma. Neal Brown has already run off some talented players. He has an expectation and won’t let just anyone play for him.
While that is the honorable thing to do, unfortunately most top tier teams are not filled with choir boys. He doesn’t need to chase after the Pacman’s of the college football World. But getting creative with player acquisition could prove beneficial early on.
Holgorsen mentioned earlier in the offseason that he just couldn’t get great players to come to Morgantown. Well looking at recent history, Rodriguez could.
Neal Brown doesn’t need to sell his soul and throw his morals out the window to win in Morgantown. But getting high end talent and being competitive early can be a challenge. Looking to former success could help push West Virginia to prominence in the future.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Love all things college football and hate all things Michigan Wolverines