The state of West Virginia isn’t known for consistently putting out elite level talent. This has been a hindrance for the Mountaineers as they have to get creative with their recruiting strategy. But the 2021 class is a rare exception with Wyatt Milum and Isaiah Johnson.
Growing Talent in West Virginia
The state of West Virginia didn’t have a four-star player in the 2017 or 2020 class and only one in the 2018 class. One four-star player over three classes makes it tough to build a team with local talent. The 2019 class was an outlier and actually featured a top 25 overall player. That is an excellent opportunity that you just can’t pass on. The problem, Dana Holgorsen didn’t even try to land him.
Darnell Wright is the most talented high school player in the state of West Virginia in the last decade and Dana Holgorsen didn’t recruit him. According to Wright, he didn’t even try. In contrast, new coach Neal Brown attempted to undo Holgorsen’s lack of recruitment by sending his entire staff to Huntington to meet with Wright and try to convince him to come to West Virginia University during his first few weeks on the job. Unfortunately, the damage was done and Wright ultimately decided to attend the University of Tennessee, the school that recruited him hard for years.Via Mountaineer Sports
Wright wasn’t the only one, West Virginia had two other four-stars that year that both went out of state. Now, Neal Brown is trying to undo that damage and has a second chance.
The 2021 class features two high rated players in the state of West Virginia. One has already committed to the Mountaineers and the other has them in his top eight.
Wyatt Milum And Johnson
Milum is currently rated as the 23rd overall player according to the 247 Composite and Johnson is a top 150 player. These guys are program changers for a team like West Virginia.
While Milum is already a commit to WVU, he is too talented to stop recruiting. I’ve heard Notre Dame is still talking to Milum and it’s likely they aren’t the only one. While there isn’t a rumor that he is going to flip, the future potential five-star will be a hot commodity until signing day.
Isaiah Johnson is also looking like he could be a bit of a long shot. The talented DB has West Virginia in his top eight but seems to be leaning towards going out of state.
Recruiting high profile players comes with heartbreak and near misses on the recruiting trail. So there is a very real chance that West Virginia could strike out on these two. However, the fact that Neal Brown is actively recruiting them – puts him miles ahead of Dana Holgorsen.
Even just landing Wyatt Milum would be a major win for the Mountaineers. We have all witnessed the impact Dante Stills has had on this team, another elite player would be a great step to getting back to the top of the Big 12.
Hopefully, WVU can capitalize on this rare opportunity.