Breaking Down the Mountain State's Top 5 Recruits
The state of West Virginia isn't known as a hotbed for recruiting in the world of college football, but in recent years, the Mountain State has produced enough talent to gain the interest of some of the nation's top programs, including the Mountaineers.
Here are West Virginia's top-five recruits for the class of 2018.
Dante Stills (DL) Fairmont Senior
Without question, the gem of the 2018 class for West Virginia and its flagship university is Dante Stills. Stills is ranked as a top-300 recruit and a top-25 defensive lineman according to ESPN. With the future Mountaineer leading the charge, the Fairmont Polar Bears reached the state semifinals last season and are looking to go further in 2017. Even before his commitment, Stills has been a household name for West Virginia fans. His father Gary Stills was an imposing linebacker for the Mountaineers and his brother Darius is currently a freshman defensive lineman.
Cross Wilkerson (QB) Wheeling Park
At 6-foot-3 and 205-pounds, Cross is a prototypical pro-style quarterback with a cannon for an arm. Through the first five games as a senior, Wilkerson has tossed the ball for over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions. Wilkerson has an extremely high football I.Q. but is rumored to have issues with holding onto the ball too long. The Mountaineers showed interest in Wilkerson early in his recruitment, but Wilkerson has since committed to Toledo.
Owen Porter (ILB) Spring Valley
Much like Elijah Wellman, another Spring Valley alum, Porter is also a hard-nosed and disciplined football player. Porter's recruitment has flown under the radar for the most part, but his work ethic and ability to make plays on the defensive end led to an offer from nearby Marshall. Porter will join the Thundering Herd in 2018 unless other division one schools start to take notice.
Isiah Duncan (RB) Ona (Cabell Midland)
We've been able to see Duncan play in person and was highly impressed with his skill set. He is a gifted runner between the tackles and keeps his legs moving until he hits the turf. If there is one thing keeping Duncan from being one of the elite players in the state, it's his lack of break away speed. But if you need a bulldozer in your running backs corps, he is your guy. Duncan jumped at the chance to play at the next level by committing to Marshall back in June.
Brier Elswick (OL/DL) Ona (Cabell Midland)
Elswick claims no offers and is relatively unknown on the recruiting trail, so it may come as a surprise that we've added him to this list. But at 6-foot-4 and 328-pounds, Elswick is pretty difficult to ignore. He has tremendous size and easily upends his opponents one-on-one, but there's a concern he isn't quick enough to play at the division one level. If and when a school decides to take on Elswick, they'll be getting a project that they'll have to invest in, but don't be shocked if he turns out as a steal for the 2018 class.