Grading The First HCBS Recruiting Class

It would be unfair to give this recruiting class one single grade. Context plays a big role in these types of evaluations. It is easy for a national talking head to look at the class, ranked #37 by Scout.com, and dismiss it as being undeserving of a top 10 team. Well, that’s simply not the case.

To me, there are three separate grades for this class. They are…

Graded nationally: C+

Compared to other WVU classes: B

After the shit we’ve been through in the past 2 months: A-

Of course, ranking #37 for a perennial top 10 team isn’t going to turn many heads — unless they’re turning to tell us how much we suck. But for WVU, it’s nothing new. At least under Rodriguez (and Nehlen to an extent), our recruiting rankings have always trailed our actual rankings, telling me that either WVU is a better judge of talent than most of the nation or we simply just make things work. It’s probably a little of both.

But today, as I write this, #37 sounds pretty damn good, especially when you consider that it could’ve been much, much worse. HCBS entered way behind the recruiting curve in 2008. He was named coach on January 3, leaving a month and three days until signing day. Considering most of the staff wasn’t hired until weeks afterward, the fact that we even signed players is an accomplishment. The fact that we came up with some heralded recruits is a testament to HCBS and especially, the staff he assembled.

OK, so enough of the circumstances. Now on to the actual recruits, which I have attempted to rank the top ten in order of skill/importance to WVU.

  1. Josh Jenkins, OL — This was huge. We as a University can not afford to let the few high D-I athletes that live in WV get out of the state. He’s also an athletic, run-blocking offensive lineman, which fits perfectly in our system.
  2. Tevita Finau, DE — Finau should immediately step into the vacancy left by Johnny Dingle. He’s big, fast, and has a year of post high school football under his belt. For the big picture, I really like occasionally recruiting JUCO players that have 3 years of playing eligibility left, simply to plug holes. We had a huge hole at DE and Finau has 4 years to play 3. Perfect.
  3. Terence Kerns, RB — We really needed a big running back alternative to Noel Devine, just as a change of pace. Kerns, assuming he qualifies, should do exactly that. Just like Finau, Kerns has a year of football between high school and college (at Hargrave), which should better prepare him for immediate playing time.
  4. Coley White, QB/ATH — I have no idea if he’ll end up a QB at WVU, but simple lineage points to him being a successful player. With only Starks and Russell blocking him, White may be the answer at QB after Brown graduates. If not, his size and speed should make him a fine WR.
  5. Benji Kemoeatu, C — I can’t stress enough the importance of a good center in this spread, zone-blocking scheme. It also helps if you can hit our QB in the hands with a snap, something that eluded us at times this year (see: Florida, South). Just like Coley White, Kemoeatu’s NFL lineage makes for a high ceiling.
  6. Donovan Miles, LB
  7. J.D. Woods, WR
  8. Jeff Braun, DT
  9. Robert Sands, ATH
  10. Tyler Urban, FB

23 Responses

  1. My favorite thing about all of our recruits is that the word “mean streak” is used in describing Kemoeatu. I cant wait to see him destroy people. That guy is a freaking beast.

  2. I can’t wait to see this Jativous Miller kid in pads he looks like a stud

  3. “Mean streak” is two words. Idiot, on the other hand, is one word.

  4. Did I miss the signing of Kerns and Kemoeatu? I haven’t seen confirmation that they signed LOIs.

  5. They have not. I believe Kerns is simply waiting until he qualifies and Kemoeatu is waiting for his parents to get back from a church conference to OK his papers.

  6. from what i understand, kerns is waiting until he knows for sure he’ll academically eligible to play next year. i believe theres some rule that since he signed already last year and didn’t qulify he has to wait until he’s eligible to sign. BUT HE”S 100% COMING TO WVU, BILL STEW has been the lead recuitier on him for the last 2.5 yrs

  7. o ya supposedly Kemoeatu parents are out of town at a church conference and the need to sign something to make it official. I’m not sure if there’s truth to this, but this is what i heard

  8. I think they kicked ass, especially considering all the behind-closed-doors mudslinging you know other recruiters must have pulled considering Fraudriguez has been keeping the news full of fresh mud. Can’t wait to see Josh Jenkins suit up. I also can’t wait to see what kind of walk-on material we have this year. You just know there’s got to be some overlooked talent out there this year just dreaming of stepping into Owen Schmitt’s place as everybody’s favorite walk-on story.

    PS. Every time I see that picture of Stew, I hear 5thyearsenior’s “I’m going to come at you like a spider monkey” headline. Priceless.

  9. I saw a picture of Benji Kemoeatu yesterday and saw his stats and everything – I’m pretty sure that he could swallow me in one bit.

    That being said, I also did a little dance of joy as I pictured the Pitt players being steam rolled into the turf of Heinz field next year.

  10. Charley, you have a mean streak, and for that i applaud you. And for those who dont know, charley was #1 in his class in highschool and finished suma cum laude with a degree in english from wvu before being editor of the law review at wvu law. Thank you professor.

  11. I thought Kerns was also waiting on his mother to come down to Hargrave and sign his papers? Pretty sure I read that somewhere. I feel like some of our defensive recruits could turn out a lot better than their star ranking – Stew seemed pretty high on them.

  12. I’m happy with the class. Just remember, these people got in late in the recruiting game and still managed some solid players.

  13. […] says that WVU’s “disappointing” class is really, well, kind of disappointing, but still better than being kicked in the balls over the past two […]

  14. If we can somehow rangle tay odoms, we will be good. I also have the distinct feeling that we will be forever “disapointed” in our recruiting classes, that is the nature of being in teh big east, and being in WV.

  15. I predicted the immediate demise to an International Bowl program after we hired HBCS based solely on the fact that he was a little old and fairly unattractive- the good looking coach is a good recruiter theory. Based on the performance this year I may have been a little premature in the demise of the program. Recruiting rankings don’t mean anything, but still 37th isn’t bad based on the challenges the staff overcame.

    It’s a good day to be a Mountaineer

  16. While this staff may be really good a lot of the kids that had already committed wanted to play for WVU. We are starting to develop a tradition that kids recognize and want to play for.

    Now it is 2 and 3 star athletes but keep winning and we will be looking at 4 and 5 stars on kids that want to play for WVU.

  17. Chucktownzub: i believe you meant “Wrangle.” For those of you who don’t know, chucktownzub, failed out of high school, bought a GED on the black market in exchange for a homeless man’s kidney, graduated magna cum laude from Marshall, and then, like most Marshall grads, failed out of WVU law school after half of a class.

  18. God, i totally forgot that this was english class. For those of you who dont know, 25314 is a post op tranny.

  19. Well, at least he’s post-op. An experience with a pre-op can be traumatizing.

    Or so I’ve heard.

  20. great link, j. baldwin!

    I can’t imagine the kind of pressure RR might be applying to Pryor. Not only does he need him bad, but the kid outted him about calling a person he had been recruiting for West Virginia (so they could plan on moving with him) before telling the team.

  21. Been curious about Kerns myself, found this Fredrick newspaper cliping dated feb 7. http://mobile.newspost.com/displaynews.htm?StoryID=70952

  22. I saw this morning on scout.com that Kerns signed his LOI. Anyone else hear or see it?

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