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Recruiting Focus Begins to Narrow for WVU with Start of ‘Official’ Offer Season

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August 1 was the first day colleges could send ‘official’ football scholarship offers to rising seniors, and many of those players took to social media to share their offers.

You can learn a lot from following those posts. Obviously, you learn who got offers from different schools. However in some cases you learn who did not get offers. It is not uncommon for some players to boast a wide array of alleged offers, but when the “official” offers go out in August there aren’t as many suitors as previously thought. These posts can be a good indicator of how hot or cold a school is on a recruit, and vice versa. Of course, not all players are going to post every offer they receive, so this is not an exact science.

For West Virginia University, the start of “official” offer season for the most part produced the expected results surprises with one exception.

Skyler Bell, a 247Sports three-star receiver from Connecticut, included WVU among his top five schools along with Iowa, Virginia Tech, Rutgers and Wisconsin. Bell was one of the players posting his “official” offers as they were coming in on Friday, sharing offers from Iowa, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Wisconsin — and notably not West Virginia. Does it mean Bell did not receive an offer from the Mountaineers? No. Does posting offers from the other four schools on his top five list and not WVU raise an eyebrow? I think so.

All three of West Virginia’s four-star recruits who have verbally committed — Spring Valley offensive tackle Wyatt Milum, receiver Kaden Prather (Germantown, Maryland) and running back Jaylen Anderson (Massillon, Ohio) — were among the players who shared their “official” WVU offers on Twitter.

Likewise for junior college standout JD Martin, perhaps the top uncommitted target on WVU’s recruiting board. Martin is listed as an athlete by 247Sports but was a quarterback in high school and a standout running back for East Central (Mississippi) Community College in 2019. Last month, Martin narrowed his options to four schools — West Virginia, Nebraska, Maryland and Florida Atlantic.

There were also WVU offers posted by players committed to other schools who the Mountaineers obviously still have their sights on. That group includes (but is certainly not limited to) several offensive linemen with Ethan Mort (committed to UCF) and Eli Richey (committed to Georgia Tech) each sharing their “official” WVU offers. It is rare, but not unheard of, for a player’s first offer from a school to come at the “official” offer stage of recruiting, but that was the case for Tampa (Florida) Catholic’s Jaden Sandlin, who has verbally committed to play at FAU. There had been no indication the Mountaineers had made any offers to Sandlin prior to his Friday morning tweet.

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Tom has spent the last decade as a sports journalist based in West Virginia, most recently as the WVU beat writer for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and with previous stops at the Charleston Daily Mail, the (Fairmont) Times West Virginian and the Daily Independent in Ashland, Kentucky. He was born and raised in Cross Lanes, West Virginia -- where he currently resides -- and is a 2010 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University.

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