West Virginia Football: 2013 Recruiting Targets
As 2012's recruiting season draws to an end, many teams are getting started with 2013's recruiting.
The recruiting process is a lengthy one that often dominates the entirety of a player's senior year.
Though it's demanding for the athlete, the process is perhaps equally demanding for the college involved. They have to put their best pitch out there to a teenager who is often bombarded with similar pitches from other schools. No wonder many schools get started on the process months—sometimes up to a year—before the recruit has to commit.
For a West Virginia team coming off of a 10-3 season and a blowout victory in the Orange Bowl, they know that they are among the best teams in college football.
What's more, they have been consistently good, as they are one of only three FBS programs to win at least nine games in the past seven seasons.
There are only a few more pieces that the Mountaineers will need to put in place to reduce their losses and contend for a national championship.
Let's take a look at some of those top 2013 prospects that could take West Virginia football to the next level.
Weight: 285 lbs
Hometown: Forestville, MD
Because their offense is so good, West Virginia's defense has gotten away with many less than stellar performances.
Even in the Orange Bowl win, West Virginia allowed 33 points, and all three of their losses saw their opponent score 38 or more points.
This defense needs a consistent pass rush and a way to put constant pressure on the quarter back.
Darius Commissiong could really help in the process of creating a more feared pass rush.
The three-star defensive end is a versatile lineman who averaged 12 tackles a game during his junior year. He could also provide West Virginia with a much-needed sack specialist; Commissiong got 13 sacks during his junior year.
Weight: 275 lbs
Hometown: Pomfret, MD
One of the few question marks for West Virginia is the play of their offensive line.
Rushing production was clearly down in 2011—leading running back Dustin Garrison only had 742 rushing yards.
Slowing down pass rushers also has to be a priority for the running game for the quarterback to have sustained success.
Na'ty Rodgers is the kind of tackle that could potentially fix that need.
The junior from McDonough High School was named to the U.S. Army All-Combine Team, which typically features the top underclassman prospects in the country.
Rodgers also stands out for his lateral agility and his overall athleticism, impressive for his size.
Weight: 195 lbs
School: Cypress Bay, FL
The quick West Virginia offense could use a speedster running back to serve as a change-of-pace guy. Right now that role seems like it's going to Andrew Buie who had only 51 carries for 172 rushing yards in his freshman season last year.
Who knows where he'll be in a year though, which is why the Mountaineers may want to take a chance on someone like Matt Dayes.
Dayes currently runs a 4.71, 40-yard dash which is a good start for a high school junior.
He'll need to improve his speed and his weight as right now he's only 195 lbs.
But if he gets the speed and some more muscle, this guy could be someone to watch at West Virginia.
Torii Hunter Jr.
Weight: 175 lbs
School: Prosper, TX
West Virginia is currently stacked at the wide receiver position with rising young players like Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. But Austin is a junior and Bailey a sophomore, so some youth will be needed at the wide receiver position.
Torii Hunter Jr. has shown some big-time potential. The three-star prospect had 43 catches for 750 yards and 12 touchdowns for his junior year last season.
He's received offers from several high-profile schools, including Oklahoma State and Baylor, so he could be hard for West Virginia for pick up.
But his early returns show that he would be worthwhile for West Virginia to heavily pursue.
Weight: 220 lbs
School: Dunbar, MD
Even with the signing of defensive tackle Imarjaye Albury, there is going to be more need for solid pass rushers.
Marvin Gross could be one of those defensive linemen that would be a good pickup for West Virginia.
Like some other people mentioned in this list, Gross also comes from Maryland.
He's a fast player, clocking in at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash.
He has the smarts to perform well in any system that a college defensive coordinator throws at him.
The five-star prospect has several schools in the running for him but hopefully West Virginia can still find a way to sign him next year.