MORGANTOWN — West Virginia had a number of talented targets on campus over the weekend for official visits and the early returns already led to a pair of new commitments.
The Mountaineers landed pledges from both Downingtown (Pa.) Downingtown West 2023 offensive lineman Cooper Young and Beaufort (S.C.) defensive lineman Eamon Smalls after their visits wrapped up. Both players were key targets for the program and give the Mountaineers some much needed size and talent in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
Young, at 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, picked the Mountaineers over offers from Pittsburgh, Maryland, Syracuse and Virginia, among others. The Keystone State product has been on the radar for the program since October of last year and things have only continued to blossom between them.
Young made multiple visits to campus including this weekend’s official visit and was blown away how he could fit into it as an athletic offensive guard. Running backs coach Chad Scott and offensive line coach Matt Moore served as the lead recruiters.
“I picked West Virginia because of the relationships I have built over the last year and it’s the place where I think I can grow as a player and a person the best at,” he said.
The Rivals.com 3-star prospect became the first offensive line pledge for WVU in the 2023 class, but it won’t be the last as the program is looking to add three to four more this cycle.
Smalls, at 6-foot-2 and 300 pounds, experienced a complete body transformation over the last couple months dropping almost 50 pounds to get down to his current weight. The interior defensive lineman had a number of impressive offers, including South Carolina, but the Mountaineers secured his pledge.
The Rivals.com 3-star prospect was tabbed as the nose guard in this class and the coaches believe that his skill set is a perfect fit for what the program needs at the position.
Defensive line coach AJ Jackson was the lead recruiter for Smalls and his official visit this past weekend was his second trip to campus after coming for a junior day over the winter.
“I honestly loved it. I was blown away by how the coaches and players treated me like family,” he said. “That’s what stood out the most to me.”
The pair of commitments give West Virginia a total of nine pledges in the 2023 class, which is currently perched inside the top 20 in the Rivals.com national rankings.
That could see more changes in the coming days and weeks as the program continues to host summer camp and official visitors up until the dead period in late June.
By KEENAN CUMMINGS