By Keenan Cummings
MORGANTOWN — West Virginia already had put together quite the month on the recruiting trail, but things got even better Monday when Dallas (Ga.) East Paulding running back Justin Williams committed to the program.
Williams, at 5-foot-11 and 203 pounds, is the nation’s No. 221 best prospect according to Rivals.com and selected the Mountaineers over fellow finalists Nebraska and Louisville. The former had been the leader for Williams prior to his official visit to campus during the June 11-13 weekend.
That trip, coupled with the recruiting efforts from running backs coach Chad Scott, were the difference maker for Williams, who bumped the Cornhuskers from his top spot in favor of the Mountaineers.
“Just the hospitality of the coaching staff and the offense. The younger backs can get on the field faster with how simple the offense is, and I fit in with the players up there,” he said. “It was like a home away from home.”
But the real recruiting win came a few short weeks later, when Williams announced he was going to bypass his planned fall commitment date to instead make his choice in early July. That was a significant change from what he had been consistent with on his recruitment and spelled good news for WVU.
The Mountaineers extended a scholarship offer in January on the first conversation with Williams and things only continued to grow from there. The bond he developed with the coaches, as well as his possible fit in the offense, were major draws for the Peach State product.
Williams became the seventh prospect to commit to the Mountaineers since the recruiting dead period was lifted in June and the second 4-star prospect to do so during that span.
The Mountaineers’ class is now perched at No. 25 nationally according to Rivals.com and there is still plenty of room to move upwards.
Even with all of the positives this month, more could be coming with Harper Woods (Mich.) safety Christian Stokes set to make a college decision July 10 between WVU, Iowa and Michigan State. Then, Birmingham (Mich.) Groves athlete Jaden Mangham, Leo (Ind.) offensive lineman Landen Livingston, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG wide receiver Shawn Miller, Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep linebacker Travious Lathan Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard safety Steven Sannieniola and Knoxville (Tenn.) Knoxville Catholic wide receiver Tommy Winton have all indicated a decision could be coming in July, as well.
Each of the above listed prospects have taken an official visit to Morgantown and list WVU as one of, if not the overall, favorite in their recruitment.
It’s already been quite the month for WVU on the recruiting trail and has the potential to even get a lot better as the next couple weeks continued to play out.