Farrell Files: An Intriguing Junior Day Trio, Impact of Incoming Freshman WRs on WVU
In this edition of the Farrell Files West Virginia, I look at some recent 2024 news and break down the 2023 WR class.
It’s been quiet for the most part in the portal and in 2024 recruiting. There were a few Junior Day visitors that intrigue me like DE Jewett Hayes from Ohio, TE Aidan Steinfeldt from Indiana and OL Keyonte Arrington from Virginia. These aren’t highly ranked kids by any means, but they are all legit Power Five players who could be the right fit.
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With Neal Brown in a make or break season, you won’t see a ton of four stars on campus this off-season, and honestly that’s not how WVU succeeds these days. Sure the days of Noel Devine, Geno Smith and Tavon Austin were great and those days could return, but we have to be honest about the current situation. Brown is essentially in a one year contract and it’s being used against him at every stop. But I do like these three guys and think WVU has a shot.
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Hayes has offers from Iowa and Kentucky, as well so far and he will get more as a kid out of Moeller, which is a heavily recruited school. He wants to make a spring decision so this was a key trip for him, and as an undersized end at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, his fit in scheme and the weight program were important to him. Cincinnati hasn’t offered yet to my knowledge and they could be an issue here. Kentucky is closer and they have a shot here.
Steinfeldt has his home state offer from Indiana and also has Minnesota. He will get more as well. He isn’t in a rush to make a decision, but as a baseball player it’s hard for him to schedule visits so this was good. And WVU made him some promises regarding the use of tight ends, which is interesting. Maybe the new offense will use the TE more? Who knows, but that would be a good change. And finally, Arrington has Marshall and UVA offers and is a project of sorts at 6-8 and 365 pounds. More offers will come simply based on his engulfing size. He’s the kind of kid where early interest could go a long way since he wants to establish a relationship with the coaches. The issue there? The potential this staff could be gone after next season. Stay tuned on that one.
And finally, I continue my look at the 2023 class with the wide receivers. I’m counting Tory Johnson as a TE so he will be in that group. I’ll focus on Traylon Ray and Rodney Gallagher. Gallagher is the bigger name, and for good reason, because he simply makes everything look easy. He has speed but it’s more about his ability with the football and how he adjusts to the ball with his body control that impress me. He’s a guy you can feed and feed and target over and over again because he will make tough catches. And he’s vitally important to this class as Penn State and others came hard to try to flip him. He’s a national top 100 level player.
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Ray is longer and taller and has a lot of upside but he’s not as polished. He’s more of a 50/50 ball guy because of his catch radius and he also has good body control, yet he’s not as dangerous after the catch. He’s from Florida so that’s important for future recruiting there and he’s a great complement to Gallagher as a pure outside pass catcher and red zone threat. This is a great 1-2 punch. They wanted a third, but with Devin Carter and Ja’Shaun Polk in the portal depth is okay.