West Virginia head coach Neal Brown is entering his first-ever early signing day with the Mountaineers tomorrow. Brown has done very well with an abbreviated recruiting cycle, securing commitments from elite prospects from traditional recruiting territories and other not-so-traditional areas.
Yesterday, we highlighted who remains on West Virginia's short list for the 2020 class. Today, we break down just how the early signing day will shake out for the Mountaineers.
Surprises from Current Commits?
There are are total of 17 current verbal commits for West Virginia in the 2020 class and its widely expected that all 17 will sign with the Mountaineers. That's not to say other schools haven't done its best to move the needle for a few prospects. Quarterback Garrett Greene recently turned Florida State away while backer Lanell Carr took a late visit to Indiana earlier this month. Almost immediately after the season ended, Brown and company hit the recruiting trail, shoring up its already impressive class while extending feelers to other uncommitted prospects.
As it stands right now, it's safe to assume there won't be any unwelcome surprises tomorrow.
Who's Left and Where Will They Sign?
Sam Brown, WR, Bloomingdale (GA) - Brown has quickly become one of the most coveted receivers in the country. In fact, shortly after backing off his commitment to UCF, Georgia, Ole Miss and Florida extended offers. Brown quickly responded by visiting the Gators this past weekend. To make matters worse, it was rumored that Brown wanted to commit to West Virginia over the summer but was held at bay by the Mountaineer coaching staff. That may come back to haunt Neal Brown.
Prediction - Florida/Ole Miss
Lakevias Daniel, CB, Jones Co. C.C. (MS) - Daniel's recruitment over the past two weeks has been one of the most intriguing in all of college football. Daniel decomitted from Ole Miss earlier this month after former head coach Matt Luke was fired. Daniel then received an offer from Tennessee, officially visited West Virginia and Louisville and then received a visit from newly hired Rebels coach Lane Kiffin. At this point, it feels like a coin flip between Louisville and the Mountaineers.
Prediction - Louisville
Justin Jackson, DL, NW Miss. C.C. (MS) - Jackson committed to Colorado over the summer before his recruitment heated up during his sophomore season at Northwest Mississippi. Auburn, Florida and West Virginia are hoping they can steal him away from the Buffs. Jackson recently visited West Virginia but kept things quiet on social media. Defensive line coach Jordan Lesley has a track record in the JUCO ranks in Mississippi which may help the Mountaineers' chances.
Prediction - Colorado
Akheem Mesidor, DL, Clearwater Academy International (FL) - Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Mesidor holds nearly 30 offers as one of the highest-rated defensive prospects remaining in the 2020 class. In November, he released a top-five of Pitt, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, UCLA, and Syracuse, paying each of the five an official visit. West Virginia offers the most immediate route to early playing time for Mesidor, giving the Mountaineers a slight edge.
Prediction - West Virginia
Wesley Bailey, DE, Clearwater Academy International (FL) - Bailey is the teammate of Akheem Mesidor and is also being heavily courted by the Mountaineers. And like Mesidor, Bailey recently visited West Virginia, coming away impressed with what he saw in Morgantown. Unfortunately, it seems that Bailey is primed to play in the Big 10 given his recent interest in Minnesota, Illinois and Rutgers. The hiring of elite recruiter and defensive line coach Jim Panagos by Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano looks to pay out immediate dividends.
Prediction - Rutgers
Simeon Barrow Jr., DE, Grovetown (GA) - If West Virginia has any chance to flip any one recruit, it may be Barrow Jr. Simeon committed to Michigan State in August, but his last official visit was to the Mountaineers just a week ago. Considering the Spartans recently made an in-home visit to Barrow Jr. to shore up his commitment, it may be difficult for the Mountaineers to steal him away.
Prediction - Michigan State
Tune in tomorrow to Mountaineer Maven as we keep you update on who does and doesn't sign with West Virginia!