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Farrell Files: Is a Difference Maker Coming to West Virginia Football?



WVU Football team running on field Backyard Brawl

What’s going on with WVU recruiting and in the portal? Here’s my latest Farrell Files for West Virginia.

LB Amari Gainer is on campus and the staff hopes to close down the FSU transfer if they can. Gainer also likes Cincinnati, as well as Colorado and North Carolina, but it seems the Bearcats are the worry here if he leaves uncommitted. Gainer was injured much of this season but has experience and is a great, and I mean great, lockerroom leader. The hope is to plug him into the defense and have him help keep everyone on defense on the same page in a must year for Neal Brown.

— An immediate offer went to Kent State transfer WR Ja’Shaun Poke mainly because of his return skills and he’s one to keep an eye on.

— You like big RBs? Of course you do as you saw what CJ Donaldson can do in this offense. That’s why it’s a big visit this weekend for Florida RB DJ Oliver who will be sold on the Donaldson success. He’s much shorter at 5-11 but he’s 230 pounds of rumbling physicality. USF has had him as commitment for months but the Vols, Mountaineers and others have been in pursuit. If he makes his scheduled visit they could close him out.

2023 3-Star RB DJ Oliver: ‘WVU is My Top School’


— DE Zachariah Keith is the most recent commit in the 2023 class. The two-time Georgia Tech commitment has apparently made his final decision and is a nice get down the stretch for the Mountaineers. He has very good size at 6-5 and 245 pounds and he has a great motor on film as he chases a lot of plays down. He’s a bit raw from a technique standpoint but he won’t be forced to play right away. I think this closes down the WVU defensive end class from a prep level but they will work on adding more talent in the portal. There are a couple defensive line prospects they could reach on but to me that would be a mistake. He’s a legit mid level 3 star kid to me and he’s the last elite talent at the position they wouldn’t have reached on. Go portal or even JUCO to fill out the depth.

— The question I get the most is what will WVU do at QB? After going all in on JT Daniels with disappointing results I’ve heard that WVU won’t look for a high profile kid seeking NIL money to rehab his career. And that’s smart. There is talent out there in the portal, but the strategy should be to lay back, let the competition snap up the big and overpriced names and find a second tier kid with less NIL ask and just as much potential. Remember there have been success stories this season with guys who weren’t as touted like Western Kentucky’s Austin Reed, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., Illinois’ Tommy DeVito and others. The want is a QB with some experienced but moreso someone with smarts who won’t turn the ball over and will play within the system. I’ve heard names like Christian Velliuex from Penn State, Mike Wright from Vandy and Hank Bachmeier from Boise State, but it’s been hush hush overall.

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