The Gems, Busts and More From the WVU 2015 Signing Class

Daniel Woods

West Virginia’s recruiting class of 2015 provided some outstanding talent for the Mountaineers but also gave fans several “what could have been?” questions.

With Neal Brown headed full steam ahead toward the 2021 class, it seems like a good time to take a look back at the results of one of Dana Holgerson’s most highly touted classes.

The Hits

The third-rated recruit in this class was Rasul Douglas, one of the best defensive backs in recent memory for West Virginia. Still in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, Douglas brought stability and big play skills to the back end of the Mountaineer defense for both of his years in Morgantown.

David Sills was supposed to be an NFL quarterback. As it turned out, his path brought him to Morgantown where he became one of the best scoring threats in recent memory at the wide receiver position.

Pairing with Will Grier to form an outstanding tandem, Sills spent one year at El Camino College after a promising freshman year while trying to chase his quarterbacking dreams but a return to West Virginia made him an all-conference performer and a pro prospect.

Sills was not the only NFL receiver in this class as two of the more underrated players from 2015 both have spent time on rosters in the league.

Gary Jennings came in as a versatile player who filled several roles in high school and got off to a great start, catching an important touchdown during the Cactus Bowl win his freshman year. A stellar career, that included the famous game-tying touchdown against Texas, saw Jennings land with the Seattle Seahawks in the 2019 NFL Draft before finishing his rookie year with the Miami Dolphins.

The third in the trio of receivers in this class was the second of the White brothers trifecta as Ka’Raun White entered as the lowest-rated scholarship recruit in the class. He clearly outpaced his ranking, having a standout senior season that led to an undrafted free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks and subsequent deals with the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Matt Jones was a multi-year starter at center and locked down the interior of the Mountaineer line during Will Grier’s time under center. His transfer to Youngstown State came out of nowhere and left West Virginia in a tough spot during the 2019 season.

Colton McKivitz is currently waiting to see if he will join his former teammates in the NFL but his career at West Virginia has to be seen as nothing but a success. Entering as a raw prospect, he emerged as one of the most consistent offensive linemen in school history, holding onto one of the tackle positions for each of his last four seasons.

David Long was often overlooked because of his size but outstanding skills and a relentless nature got him on the field early in his career. The three-year starter made some of the most memorable plays on the defensive side of the ball in recent memory and currently plays a significant role on the Tennessee Titans.

Xavier Pegues spent a chunk of time on the depth chart and eventually contributed as a senior. On a defense that lacked depth in the middle of the defensive line, his contribution was welcome for the Mountaineers.

Deamonte Lindsay took some time to get on the field but the Martinsburg, West Virginia star became a strong special teams contributor and saw quite a bit of time on defense as a senior. Battling injuries and illness, Lindsay’s career did not start off ideally but his impact was felt on a very young defense in 2019.

The Misses

Tyrek Cole was the highest rated recruit in the class, considered by some to be a top five cornerback nationally. Off the field issues led to him never playing in a game for the Mountaineers, withdrawing from school shortly after the season began in September.

Stone Wolfley was the best prospects to come out of Morgantown High School in years and was expected to fill a role and bring some power to the defensive line. He never made a start for the Mountaineers, getting some action on special teams and spending time at tight end as well.

Massive lineman Rob Dowdy combined stellar athleticism with a huge frame and looked to be a major contributor early in his career. Back injuries kept him off the field and eventually led him to medically retire from football.

Kevin Williams was a well-regarded cornerback coming out of high school but struggled to get on the field at West Virginia. He left the team after appearing in just five games on special teams.

Jordan Adams was another part of this large class of defensive backs but wound up leaving before his final season on campus. He made an interception in the spring game but moved on via transfer to UMass.

Alec Shriner spent time on both sides of the line but just could not crack the depth chart. The former wrestling champion finished his college career at St. Francis University of Pennsylvania.

Larry Jefferson was a high-level JUCO defensive lineman coming into West Virginia but had a hard time finding the field. He spent just one year in Morgantown, transferring to Bluefield College in 2016.

Jahshaun Seider, brother of former West Virginia assistant coach JaJuan Seider, brought a big body on the offensive line. He had a hard time finding the field and finished out his playing career at Eastern Kentucky.

The Maybes

Jovon Durante made a spectacular impact as a freshman and looked like a future superstar early on in his career. Despite this, things bottomed out, resulting in a transfer to Florida Atlantic before declaring for the NFL Draft following one season in Boca Raton.

Adam Shuler was an impact player early on, bringing athleticism and tenacity to the defensive line. Playing opposite Reese Donahue, he made an impression but it was not meant to be.

Shuler transferred to play for the Florida Gators, moving inside to defensive tackle and joining the track team, a major factor in his decision to leave West Virginia.

Chris Chugunov brought a cerebral quarterback to the roster but his physical limitations ultimately held him back. He struggled in limited time after replacing an injured Will Grier before finishing his career as a backup to Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields at Ohio State.

Comments (3)
John Pentol
John Pentol

Editor

Wish Durante would have stayed

No. 1-3
GriffenAura
GriffenAura

Great article!

Halk35
Halk35

Great job Dan! Really great insight to a historic class!


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