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A Look At Which Prospects Could Impact WVU’s 2022 Recruiting Class

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West Virginia’s 41st-ranked 2022 recruiting class may not jump off the screen, but with just 10 players committed and many more still considering WVU, the potential for this year’s class is sky-high.

Headlined by 4-star Arizona quarterback Nicco Marchiol, WVU’s current class offers a little bit of everything at this point. There’s a stud quarterback, a couple of pass catchers (wide receiver and tight end), a few big offensive linemen on the offensive side of the ball. On the defensive side, WVU has picked up pledges from a couple of talented edge rushers and a pair of safeties.

However, a number of highly-rated recruits have either chosen WVU as a finalist for their college decision, or WVU leads their recruitment process according to those at 247Sports or Rivals. So, who are those young men who could change the fortune of the program?

The Finalists

A few recruits have listed WVU among their finalists in making their college decision, those young men are:

Mani Powell – Top 6

3-star linebacker Mani Powell from McKinley High School in Canton, Ohio announced via Twitter he’s narrowed his list of offers to just six schools, WVU included.

Along with Arkansas (Rivals’ prediction for where he’ll land), Toledo, Syracuse, Michigan and Indiana, WVU will await to see whether Powell will add his commitment to WVU’s 2022 list. He hasn’t officially announced a commitment date yet, but it’s likely to be at some point this summer.

At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Powell is a big, strong inside linebacker who figures to make an impact on a college team rather quickly.

According to 247Sports, Powell is the 111th-ranked linebacker in the class and the 27th-ranked recruit from the state of Ohio.

Shawn Miller – Top 5

3-star wide receiver Shawn Miller from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida is a sought-after recruit in the 2022 cycle, and his mom dropped his Top 5 finalists on Twitter Monday.

WVU, along with Arizona, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan State, has the inside track to land the talented wide receiver originally from Arizona. Like Collins, Miller hasn’t officially announced a commitment date either, but it appears as if it’ll come rather soon, too. Miller did visit WVU earlier this month.

Standing 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Miller is a well-built wide receiver who made strong contributions (205 receiving yards and three touchdowns) for MaxPreps’ No. 1 ranked high school in the country.

According to 247Sports, Miller is the 502nd-ranked recruit in the cycle. He’s the 69th-ranked wide receiver and the 73rd-ranked recruit from the state of Florida. 247 hasn’t predicted Miller yet, but Rivals has Miller split between Illinois and WVU.

Christion Stokes – Top 3

3-star athlete Christion Stokes from Harper Woods High School in Harper Woods, Michigan announced Sunday morning that his recruitment process has been narrowed down to just three schools.

WVU, Michigan State and Iowa are the finalists for Stokes, who will be announcing his decision on July 10th where he will play college ball.

A 6-foot-0, 180-pound athlete, who plays running back and safety for Harper Woods, appears to be leaning toward playing on the defensive side of the ball in college — with Rivals listing him as a safety.

According to 247Sports, Stokes is the 495th-ranked recruit in the cycle. He’s the 42nd-ranked athlete and the 14th-ranked recruit from the state of Michigan. Both 247Sports and Rivals’ fan vote currently predicts Stokes will land with WVU.

Tomiwa Durojaiye – Top 5

3-star strong-side defensive end Tomiwa Durojaiye from Middletown High School in Middletown, Delaware named his Top 5 via Twitter Sunday morning, and WVU was able to secure a place despite not hosting a visit yet.

WVU, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, South Carolina and Vanderbilt were able to secure finalist spots from Durojaiye, who hasn’t announced a commitment date yet but figures to announce at some point this summer.

A 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive lineman who can play as a lineman and an edge rusher, Durojaiye offers an intriguing blend of size, power and speed across the defensive line.

According to 247Sports, Durojaiye is the 994th-ranked recruit in the cycle. He’s the 137th-ranked defensive lineman and the second-ranked recruit from the state of Delaware. 247 currently projects him to land with South Carolina.

Jacolby Spells – Top 3

4-star athlete Jacolby Spells from American Heritage High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida announced his Top 3 on Friday and his decision date on Sunday via Twitter.

WVU, Miami and Indiana each have hosted Spells for an official visit, and all three schools were named as a finalist for where he will play his college ball. He will officially announce his decision on July 4th.

At 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, Spells’ build is well-suited for either wide receiver or defensive back, with Rivals listing him as a wide receiver while he’s played receiver and cornerback at American Heritage — recording 261 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns as a sophomore and recording 32 tackles and an interception as a junior.

According to 247Sports, Spells is the 243rd-ranked recruit in the cycle. He’s the 23rd-ranked recruit from the state of Florida. 247 has him leaning toward Miami over WVU, while Rivals’ fan vote has him picking WVU.

Raleigh Collins III – Finalist

3-star cornerback Raleigh Collins III from Neumann-Goretti High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has told West Virginia Sports Now that he will be committing soon and that WVU is a finalist in his decision.

Collins also has offers from Army, Boston College, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, UCONN, Dartmouth, Howard, Kansas, Maryland, UMASS, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple and Bowling Green. Upon Durojaiye posting his Top 5, Collins asked if he was trying to team up, and the one school in common between his offers and Durojaiye’s Top is WVU.

A 6-foot-3, 205-pound cornerback, Collins is taller and stronger than your traditional cornerbacks, and playing for one of the top high schools in Pennsylvania, his senior season will likely see him show off how his size and strength can impact a game from the back end.

According to 247Sports, Collins is the 560th-ranked recruit in the class. He is the 59th-ranked cornerback and the 16th-ranked recruit from the state of Pennsylvania. 247 and Rivals have not projected Collins yet, but the Rivals fan vote has leaned toward WVU.

Kevin Thomas – Top 10

4-star wide receiver Kevin Thomas from Neumann-Goretti High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania announced his Top 10 at the end of May via Twitter, and WVU featured within that list of schools.

Thomas’ Top 10 of WVU, Michigan State, Florida, Arizona State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Texas A&M, Maryland, Michigan State, Cincinnati and Nebraska have some strong contenders, but it appears that WVU and Michigan State have stood out amongst the crowd. Thomas visited WVU on June 11th and Michigan State on June 25th.

Thomas’ WVU visit coincided with WVU commit Nicco Marchiol and fellow 4-stars Travious Lathan and Justin Williams, all three making an impact on Thomas. The addition of Marchiol especially showed Thomas how serious WVU is at improving in the years to come. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver spoke to how any wide receiver would enjoy playing with a quarterback like Marchiol.

While Thomas hasn’t announced his decision date yet, he said he wants to be committed by the time his senior season rolls around this fall, so you can expect his decision to come sometime this summer.

According to Rivals, Thomas is the 36th-ranked wide receiver in the class and the seventh-ranked recruit from the state of Pennsylvania. 247 has Thomas predicted to Michigan State while Rivals’ fan vote has Thomas landing with WVU.

Omar Cooper, Jr. – Top 10

4-star wide receiver Omar Cooper, Jr. from Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, Indiana is one of the top recruits in the state of Indiana, and it appears his recruiting decision will come down to in-state Indiana and WVU.

Cooper announced his Top 10 in late May, including WVU, Indiana, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Missouri, Virginia Tech and Illinois. With official visits to WVU on June 11th and Indiana on June 18th, Cooper’s decision is winding down to a seemingly two-horse race.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound wide receiver dominated at the high school level last season, racking up 1,101 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 38 catches. Cooper hasn’t announced when he’ll be officially committing, but it will likely be summer.

According to 247Sports, Cooper is the 214th-ranked recruit in the cycle. He is the 30th-ranked wide receiver in the cycle and the 5th-ranked recruit from the state of Indiana.

Hopefuls

While some WVU potential recruits haven’t announced the Mountaineers as a finalist yet, recruiting services have WVU as a leading contender to land their commitment, those men are:

Jaden Mangham 

4-star athlete Jaden Mangham hasn’t announced his finalists or a decision date yet, but he has seen his WVU stock rise in the past few weeks.

According to 247Sports, which ranks Mangham (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) as the 292nd-ranked recruit in the cycle, he is predicted to wind up committing to WVU. With 36 offers, the Wylie E. Grove High Schooler star has plenty of interest, but WVU has made a strong impact.

Mangham visited WVU on June 4th and has visited Georgia Tech, Illinois and Nebraska since, but WVU remains at the top of his list.

A wide receiver and cornerback for Wylie E. Groves, Mangham could make an impact across the board for the Mountaineers. His decision day can likely be expected later this summer.

Travious Lathan 

4-star linebacker Travious Lathan visited WVU on June 11th, along with a couple of WVU commits in Marchiol, Corbin Page and Tyrin Woodby, and the visit made an impact upon the highly-rated linebacker.

According to 247Sports, which ranks Lathan (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) as the 221st-ranked recruit in the cycle, he is expected to wind up at WVU over Oregon. Rivals also predicts Lathan to wind up with the Mountaineers. Lathan has picked up 26 offers visiting WVU and Pittsburgh, but it appears he’s honed in on WVU.

Lathan, who hails from Gulliver Prep in Miami, Florida, racked up 239 receiving yards and two touchdowns as a junior while accumulating 20 tackles on defense.

Lathan’s decision date isn’t known yet, but it’s expected that he will announce his decision at some point this summer.

Justin Williams

4-star running back Justin Williams from East Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia hasn’t announced his finalists yet either, but he’s picked up an awful lot of interest from schools pursing his signature.

Williams has offers from WVU, Louisville, Nebraska, Minnesota, Ole Miss and 21 other schools. The talented running back has visited Nebraska, WVU and Louisville this month, and it sounds like WVU and Nebraska are coming down to his final two choices.

A 6-foot-0, 200-pound running back, Williams dominated Georgia high school football last season with 1,477 rushing yards, 286 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns as a junior.

According to Rivals, Williams is the 221st-ranked recruit in the cycle. He is the 15th-ranked running back and 22nd-ranked recruit from the state of Georgia. 247 doesn’t have a prediction yet while Rivals predicts he’ll wind up with Nebraska and the fan vote predicts WVU.

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