While West Virginia still has a wide receiver committed to its 2022 recruiting class, in the form of three-star Jarel Williams, and a strong group of wide receivers that should return a solid group for 2022, the loss of 2022 four-star Kevin Thomas is disappointing.
Thomas was supposed to be one of the recruits leading the charge for WVU’s 2022 class, one of the leading voices in WVU’s 2022 class, highlighting his relationship with the WVU coaching staff and four-star quarterback Nicco Marchiol, so it’s tough to lose a guy like that.
But, as is the nature of college football, it’s not a death blow. He’ll be missed, and now it’s onto the next. So, who are those next guys up? Let’s take a look.
Darrius Clemons – Four-Star WR from Westview in Portland, Oregon
Look, there are a few guys on this list who just aren’t going to give WVU the time of day. Clemons is one of those guys.
As a Top 150 recruit in the class, hailing from Oregon, Clemon’s recruiting process appears to have narrowed down to Oregon and Auburn.
WVU just isn’t going to compete for these kinds of recruits, but there’s no harm in offering.
Antonio Williams – Four-Star WR from Dutch Fork in Irmo, South Carolina
Much like Clemons, Williams isn’t coming to WVU. And this isn’t to say WVU can’t land top-tier recruits, but most of the time, a kid from South Carolina isn’t thinking about WVU.
Another Top 150 recruit, Williams has an SEC-centric recruiting chase. South Carolina and Ole Miss appear to have the inside track to land his commitment, but he’s landed offers from nearly 30 schools.
Not to say WVU has no shot, but…
Tay’shawn Trent – Four-Star WR from Harper Woods in Harper Woods, Michigan
Now, here’s a guy with WVU connections — his teammate at Harper Woods is 2022 three-star athlete Christion Stokes, a current commit.
Trent originally committed to Michigan, but since his decommitment in October, he’s been projected to land with Louisville. With offers 15 schools, predominately Power Five schools, he’s not lacking options.
247Sports rates Trent as the 401st-ranked recruit in the class, checking in as the 55th-ranked wide receiver and 12th-ranked recruit from Michigan. Rivals rates him as the 34th-ranked wide receiver and the sixth-ranked recruit from Michigan.
Trent doesn’t seem likely to suddenly include WVU in his process but crazier things have happened. However, it’s unlikely he winds up in Morgantown.
Peter Kikwata – Four-Star WR from Northwest in Germantown, Maryland
Kikwata has been a recruit that WVU has maintained a relationship with, still currently projected to land his commitment, according to 247Sports.
A 6-foot-1, 170-pound wideout with offers from over 20 schools, mainly from the Power Five level, he’s a highly sought-after recruit, he’s continued to hold off on announcing his college decision.
While WVU is projected to land his commitment, I’d still take that — and any projection, really — with a degree of skepticism. However, he’s still one of the more highly-ranked recruits that WVU still has a chance to land.
247Sports rates him as the 441st-ranked recruit in the class, 60th-ranked wide receiver and ninth-ranked recruit from Maryland. Rivals rates him as the 49th-ranked wide receiver and the fifth-ranked recruit from Maryland.
If WVU can land a splash recruit at wide receiver, it’s going to be Kikwata.
Amari Clark – Four-Star WR from Woodrow Wilson in Camden, New Jersey
Clark is another wide receiver who has decommited from his previous school, Maryland in this case.
After decommitting from Maryland in August, he’s produced at a high level for Woodrow Wilson. With a 6-foot-2, 202-pound frame, Clark is a well-built prospect who has a large frame that isn’t too far off of being college football ready.
247Sports rates him as the 600th-ranked recruit in the class, 81st-ranked wide receiver and the ninth-ranked recruit from New Jersey. Rivals rates him as the 21st-ranked athlete and the third-ranked recruit from New Jersey.
It doesn’t appear that WVU has jumped into his recruiting process, but he’d be another strong addition to the class.
Mike Jackson – Three-Star WR from Miami Palmetto in Miami, Florida
Jackson is another recruit, like Kikwata, that has a legitimate chance of winding up with WVU. Although, according to 247Sports and Rivals, it’s still somewhat of a longshot.
Hailing from Miami, Florida, both 247Sports and Rivals project that Jackson will eventually commit to Miami. With the hometown advantage and quite a distance from Morgantown, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he spurns the Mountaineers.
With a 5-foot-8, 150-pound frame, built for speed and elusiveness, Jackson isn’t short on offers. He’s received 20 offers, and he’s projected, according to 247Sports, as ‘warm’ for Appalachian State, Miami and WVU. However, he’s visited both App State and Miami.
247Sports rates Jackson as the 992nd-ranked recruit in the class, 138th-ranked wide receiver and 130th-ranked recruit from Florida. Rivals hasn’t given him official rankings but has given him a 5.6 rating.
If Kikwata has the strongest chance of becoming a Mountainer, Jackson has the second-highest.
Matthew James – Three-Star WR from St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Florida
James is ranked one spot behind Jackson, checking in as the 993rd-ranked recruit, 139th-ranked wide receiver and 131st-ranked recruit from Florida — So, the actual spot behind Jackson.
Checking in as a 6-foot-1, 165-pound wide receiver, James has picked up offers from a range of Power Five schools — including SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten schools.
While James hasn’t yet displayed a relationship with WVU, he’s among the receivers still in the mix for the Mountaineers and vice versa.
He’s rated as a Top 1,000 recruit by 247Sports, and Rivals has given him a 5.6 rating.
WVU’s Current State of Wide Receivers
Aside from a drop here or there from the WVU wide receiving corps, the Mountaineers possess a deep and talented group of wideouts.
Winston Wright, Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Sam James, Isaiah Esdale and Sean Ryan have all recorded at least 17 receptions and 290 receiving yards this season. Kaden Prather, a true freshman, has recorded seven receptions for 106 yards — playing his best game of the season against Kansas State last Saturday.
A large chunk the WVU wide receivers are eligible to return for another season. Ford-Wheaton, Wright, Ryan and James are all juniors while Prather is only in his first season in Morgantown.
So, while WVU’s wide receiver class isn’t loaded, the Mountaineers have plenty of options still on the roster. And having a recruit like Prather on the roster is always a boon.