“The 2022 recruiting cycle is seeing quarterback dominos fall harder than ever before”
That’s the title of a recent article by 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong. In it, he details how some of the nation’s top quarterbacks are committing to various programs around the country, with each decision impacting the next. That’s how the position works in recruiting.
Most programs will only take one quarterback per class. Even if they wanted to take two, most quarterbacks aren’t willing to be part of a two-man class, so each commitment and decommitment has rippling effects across the college football landscape. That’s no different at West Virginia, where the situation is extremely fluid.
Early on, it seemed as if West Virginia might be the front-runner for Upper Marlboro (Md.) Wise signal-caller Jayden Sauray. The 247Sports three-star prospect claimed an early offer from the Mountaineers and spoke with the staff regularly. He was also friends with 2021 signee Kaden Prather, who put in some work to try to convince him to follow the four-star prospect to Morgantown.
However, a strong push from Maryland head coach Mike Locksley has the hometown Terrapins the current favorite for Sauray.
Assuming that does happen — Sauray to Maryland, which is only 20 minutes from his home — the Mountaineers are still among the favorites for several other targets.
247Sports four-star prospect Gavin Wimsatt is likely ahead of Sauray on the board, and WVU sits in his top six with Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville and Notre Dame.
Can WVU pull him out of the Bluegrass State? Even if they can, will the Mountaineers be able to beat out the Fighting Irish?
Another quarterback to keep an eye on is Camden (N.J.) Woodrow Wilson star Devin Kargman. Ranked as the No. 16 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2022, Kargman has been relatively quiet about his recruitment, but word out of the Garden State is that he is very interested in WVU. Not only that, but a handful of the other programs that were involved — and this is where we get into the domino effect — may be out of the picture because of other commitments. That includes Maryland, which we mentioned above might be going another direction.
Of course, then we get into the swerve that really throws everything off — seeing these quarterbacks throw in person. The head coach seeing a quarterback throw in person has been a requirement for WVU for years, long before Neal Brown ever arrived in Morgantown. For the first time since I started covering recruiting — more than a decade — the Mountaineers broke that rule in this past class. Quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan saw Will Crowder throw multiple times, and Crowder visited Morgantown multiple times, but he was never able to throw in front of Brown. In fact, his original plans to commit were pushed back so that Brown could see him throw.
Of course, a pandemic hit, all in-person recruiting was canceled, and WVU realized it had to make an exception or it would risk losing out on a very talented quarterback. But now what?
Quarterbacks typically make their decisions in the spring of their junior year. That’s in the next few weeks. The in-person recruiting (and evaluation) ban was just extended through the end of May.
Will Brown and WVU make an exception again? Will they hope some of their top targets stay uncommitted until June or July when they can hold camps again?
Right now it’s unclear. It’s quarterback dominos with a twist.
GOLD-BLUE GAME SET: West Virginia University will hold its annual Gold-Blue Spring Football Game presented by Encova on Saturday, April 24, at 1 p.m., at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 protocols, and for the overall safety of spectators at outdoor events, the attendance allowed in Milan Puskar Stadium for the Gold-Blue Spring Game and ticket information will be announced at a later time. Information on parking, online streaming and the television broadcast also will be released at a later date.
A portion of the proceeds from the Gold-Blue Game once again will benefit WVU Medicine Children's. Since 1984, the Mountaineers have donated more than $768,000 to WVU Medicine Children's.