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A look back at WVU’s recruiting class of 2013

Created on:   Tue, Feb 6, 2018   10:46 PM

Last modified:   Tue, Feb 6, 2018   10:45 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — The recruiting class WVU head football coach Dana Holgorsen reeled in in 2013 had its fair shares of highs and lows throughout its five seasons with the Mountaineers.

From arrests to transfers to starters, from NFL first-round picks to Super Bowl champions, the class of 2013 helped WVU mature into a steady Big 12 program.

The last remnants of the class of 2013 finishing their careers last season. This is a look back at how the 27 signees performed when it was all said and done.

From four wins as freshmen to 10 wins as seniors and redshirt juniors, the class of 2013 saw the growth and attrition of a program. The class of 2018 will begin its journey today, with National Signing Day.

To start, let’s look at the bad of the signings from five years ago, because, in all honesty, there wasn’t a whole lot of it:

d’Vante Henry was a linebacker out of Arizona Western College. His athleticism and burst off the edge had most excited about what he could bring at the Division I level, but he was arrested for second-degree sexual assault a week into his first season. Henry was immediately dismissed from the team. He pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse and was sentenced to five years’ probation.

Ronald Carswell, a junior-college transfer who originally played at Alabama, looked to be a coup for the Mountaineers. He caught 20 passes for 413 yards and two touchdowns through eight games in 2013, but was dismissed from the team for violation of team rules.

Safety Malik Greaves left the team for health reasons, following two hip surgeries. Running back Jacky Marcellus tore his ACL twice and also suffered a flesh wound in a drive-by shooting in Florida. He transferred to Eastern Kentucky in spring 2016.

Also, linebacker Isaac McDonald redshirted in 2013 and left the program after spring practice, in 2014.

Offensive lineman Tyler Tezeno transferred to Sam Houston State, and the only quarterback in the class, Chavas Rawlins, moved on to Duquesne.

Offensive tackle Marcell Lazard had a good career at WVU, playing in 25 games and getting several starting nods, but decided to be a graduate transfer at Boston College as a senior.

The downfalls of the 2013 class pale in comparison to the production it eventually had. The JUCO class helped pave the way for what would become a staple under Holgorsen.

Wide receiver Kevin White had one of the best seasons in school history as a senior, in 2014, working his way into a top-10 pick in the NFL draft, to the Chicago Bears. Mario Alford, whom the Mountaineers snatched away from Rich Rodriguez and Arizona, was Robin to White’s Batman, catching 13 touchdowns in his two-year career.

Running back Dreamius Smith scored 10 touchdowns while splitting carries in 2013 and ‘14. Punter Nick O’Toole was a three-year starter after coming in from Fullerton College.

Other JUCO signees who saw significant playing time were offensive lineman Stone Underwood, defensive lineman Dontrill Hyman, safety Dayron Wilson and linebacker Brandon Golson.

Wide receiver Shelton Gibson hauled in 84 catches for 1,898 yards and 17 TDs from 2014-’16, after redshirting in 2013. He decided to forgo his senior year and was a fifth-round pick in the draft.

Running back Wendell Smallwood contributed all three seasons he was in Morgantown but burst onto the scene as a junior, in 2015. He tallied 2,462 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing plus 68 catches for 618 yards. Smallwood declared early and was picked in the fifth round.

On Feb. 4, Gibson and Smallwood were crowned Super Bowl champions with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cornerback Daryl Worley burst onto the scene as a true freshman and became a mainstay in the secondary. He declared for the draft after his junior year and was a third-round pick of the Carolina Panthers.

Defensive tackle Darrien Howard, safety Jeremy Tyler and wide receiver Daikiel Shorts all earned shots in the NFL after graduating, in 2016.

Linebacker Al-RasheedBenton and fullback Elijah Wellman were team captains in 2017, after redshirting as freshmen. Offensive lineman Grant Lingafelter, linebacker Hodari Christian and safety Marvin Gross remained with the program for five years.

A few walk-ons contributed throughout their careers, including University defensive lineman Jon Lewis, Morgantown safety Shane Commodore and Hurricane kicker Mike Molina.