Can you feel it? Football is starting to come back across the nation, and the young men who will be playing for West Virginia in the years to come are gearing up for their final high school seasons as you read this.
While WVU football kicks off in just under two weeks, the players who will one day play on Saturdays will take the field in the weeks to come — with some already having done so. With 17 players from the class of 2022 currently committed to WVU, here’s part one of when and where they’ll be playing this fall.
Nicco Marchiol – Quarterback, Hamilton High School in Arizona
Perhaps the most highly anticipated recruit in WVU’s 2022 class, of course, is the quarterback.
Nicco Marchiol (6-foot-2, 216 pounds) is a consensus four-star quarterback, according to 247Sports and Rivals. 247Sports rates him as the 294th-ranked recruit in the class. 247Sports rates him as the 22nd-ranked quarterback and third-ranked recruit from Arizona while Rivals rates him as the 14th-ranked quarterback and the fourth-ranked recruit from Arizona.
The senior will play his senior season for Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona this fall. Coming off a junior season in which he threw for 1,417 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for 535 yards and six more touchdowns while leading Hamilton to an 8-2 record.
Hamilton’s season begins on Friday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. against Desert Ridge High School in Arizona’s 6-A Premier league.
Jacolby Spells – Cornerback, American Heritage High School in Florida
The highest-ranked WVU recruit according to 247Sports, Jacolby Spells is in line for a big season for a Florida powerhouse.
Spells (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) is a four-star cornerback rated as the 252nd-ranked recruit from the class. 247Sports rates him as both the 22nd-ranked athlete and recruit from Florida while Rivals rates him as the 64th-ranked cornerback and the 98th-ranked recruit from Florida.
Spells will play for American Heritage High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the fall. As a junior, Spells recorded 32 tackles (19 solo) and an interception returned for 52 yards during American’s 11-2 season.
American’s season begins on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. against Treasure Coast High School in Florida’s 5-A District 14.
Travious Lathan – Linebacker, Gulliver Prep School in Florida
One of the most recent commitments, WVU dipped back into Florida to secure another top four-star recruit.
Travious Lathan (6-foot-2, 202 pounds) is a four-star linebacker rated as the 302nd-ranked recruit in the class. 247Sports rates him as the 35th-ranked linebacker and the 38th-ranked recruit from Florida while Rivals rates him as the 41st-ranked linebacker and the 76th-ranked recruit from Florida.
Lathan will play for Gulliver Prep in Miami, Florida this fall. In his junior season, he was a two-way threat for Gulliver. He caught 14 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns as a wide receiver and recorded 20 tackles (11 solo) during Gulliver’s 5-1 season.
Gulliver’s season begins on Friday, Sept. 3 at 4 p.m. against Palmetto High School in Florida’s South Florida league.
Justin Williams – Running Back, East Paulding in Georgia
The top running back recruit in WVU’s 2022 class, Justin Williams is already making a splash this fall.
Williams (5-foot-11, 203 pounds) is the highest-ranked recruit in WVU’s 2022 class, according to Rivals, checking in as a four-star recruit. Rivals rates him as the 222nd-ranked recruit in the class while 247Sports rates him as the 360th-ranked recruit. Additionally, Rivals rates him as the 13th-ranked running back and the 21st-ranked recruit from Georgia while 247Sports rates him as the 33rd-ranked running back and the 35th-ranked recruit from Georgia.
A senior for East Paulding High School, Williams has already played his first game this season. Despite a season-opening loss against Kennesaw Mountain High School, Williams scored both touchdowns in a 28-12 loss. He rushed for 175 yards on 19 carries in a dominant effort in the losing effort. Williams appears poised to dominate in his senior season, jumping out to a fast start.
East Paulding’s second game comes on Friday, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. against Campbell High School in Georgia’s 6-A Region 5.
Kevin Thomas – Wide Receiver, Neumann-Goretti in Pennsylvania
The top wide receiver in WVU’s 2022 class, Kevin Thomas hasn’t played much football in the past year, but it’s time to get back on the field.
Thomas (6-foot-1, 187 pounds) is a four-star wide receiver rated as the 441st-ranked recruit in the class, according to 247Sports. Rivals rates him as the 35th-ranked wide receiver and the ninth-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania — top-ranked wide receiver — while 247Sports rates him as the 62nd-ranked wide receiver and the 14th-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania.
Neuman-Goretti only played one game last season due to COVID-19, so there wasn’t much of a sample size for Thomas last season. As a senior for Neumann-Goretti this season, he should be in line for a huge season after playing well at camps this summer.
Neumann-Goretti will begin the season Friday, Aug. 27 at 11 a.m against Roman Catholic High School in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Catholic League.
Corbin Page – Tight End, Spring Valley in West Virginia
WVU head coach Neal Brown has made an emphasis to recruit well in-state, and his 2022 class has done just that.
Page (6-foot-5, 257 pounds) is a three-star tight end ranked as the number one recruit in West Virginia. He’s also from Spring Valley High School, which has produced WVU commits like Wyatt Milum, Doug Nester, Graeson Maleshevich in recent seasons. According to 247Sports, he is the 468th-ranked recruit in the class. 247Sports rates him as the 21st-ranked tight end while Rivals ranks him as the 27th-ranked tight end.
While Spring Valley went through a COVID-19 altered 2020 season, Page was an absolute force with the ball in his hands. With 18 catches for 440 yards and 11 touchdowns, he found the end zone at an incredible rate. His 24.4 yards per catch was almost as impressive as his touchdown percentage.
Spring Valley will get back on the field Friday, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m against Cabell Midland High School in West Virginia’s Mountain State League.
Christion Stokes – Athlete, Harper Woods in Michigan
A part of the push into Michigan, Brown picked up a versatile commit from a top athlete in the state.
Christion Stokes (6-foot-0, 180 pounds) is a three-star athlete rated as the 469th-ranked recruit in the class. 247Sports rates him as the 36th-ranked athlete and the 14th-ranked recruit from Michigan while Rivals rates him as the 31sr-ranked safety and the 12th-ranked recruit from Michigan.
A versatile athlete at Harper Woods High School, he’s played on offense and defense throughout his almost four-year varsity career. However, it appears that his calling at the collegiate level is destined for defense, honing in as a safety capable of playing across the secondary.
Harper Woods will be back on the field Thursday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. against Ypsilanti High School in the Michigan Metro Athletic Conference.
Jarel Williams – Wide Reciever, Saraland in Alabama
One of the first commits in WVU’s 2022 recruiting class, Jarel Williams is one of the few WVU commits to step on the field this fall.
Williams (6-foot-3, 175 pounds) is a three-star wide receiver rated as the 586th-ranked recruit in the class. 247Sports rates him as the 79th-ranked wide receiver and the 25th-ranked recruit from Alabama while Rivals rates him as the 61st-ranked wide receiver and the 17th-ranked recruit from Alabama.
Williams caught three passes for 20 yards — most coming from a 17 yard connection — in Saraland’s season opener, and in his junior season, he helped lead Saraland to a 12-3 record. In the three games recorded on MaxPreps, Williams caught 16 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
With a game already under the belt, Saraland returns to the field for their second game on Friday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. against Hewitt-Trussville High School in Alabama’s 6-A Region 1.