West Virginia University is running behind in recruiting as a result of coaching changes. The time span between having three coaches gone and the new ones hired had the program at a disadvantage during a crucial period.
The extensive background checks required to hire new coaches left the Mountaineers short of recruiting coaches and the results are obvious.
WVU has secured verbal commitments (per 247sports) from three offensive linemen, one defensive lineman and no cornerbacks. The coaches have been successful filling other positions, but these shortages are glaring at this point.
So what does WVU Head Coach Dana Holgorsen do? Does he continue to pursue targeted recruits that are uncommitted exclusively or does he take what I consider the low road?
The incoming coaches have received commitments from a gold mine of recruits in the positions WVU has yet to fill. Let's take a look at the players they have secured with 3 stars:
Lonnie Galloway (Wake Forest) - Three offensive linemen, two from Georgia and one from South Carolina.
Tony Gibson (Arizona) - Two linebackers from California and Georgia, one wide receiver from Georgia, one running back from Arizona and one defensive end from Georgia.
Brian Mitchell (East Carolina) - Three defensive backs, two from Mississippi and one from Kansas along with one linebacker from Alabama.
I consider the practice of flipping recruits to be underhanded, but many are praising the ability to do so.
Would WVU be wrong to flip these players?
Thanks to many coaches and players like Robert Nkemdiche, a verbal commitment means very little to anyone. I agree with Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops' comment from earlier this year in the Charleston Daily Mail:
In the end, you’re kidding yourself if you think that’s a commitment. I have always kind of equated it kind of like — just envision you tell your wife you’re going to get married in February, but until we do, I’m going to date these other three girls all through September, October and November until we get married.
It does not work that way.
The blame for flipping is not solely on the part of the players being recruited. Many coaches continue to recruit players after they verbally commit to other schools. Some even intensify their efforts right up until signing day.
The bottom line is a verbal commitment isn't worth the paper it's not written on. Will Holgorsen take advantage of that with his new hires?
Update: At least five players that have committed to schools that the new coaches came from have offers from WVU!
Comments and debate are welcome and appreciated.