Dual-threat QB Chavas Rawlins signs with WVU
West Virginia recruit Chavas Rawlins already has one famous
alumnus buzzing about his prospects at quarterback.
The mobile Rawlins signed a national letter-of-intent on
Wednesday to play for the Mountaineers, who could use him right
away after the graduation of record-setting passer Geno Smith.
Former Mountaineer quarterback Pat White said on his Twitter
feed Wednesday that ”something tells me it’s going to be fun
The 6-foot-3 Rawlins threw for 1,382 yards and 13 touchdowns
while rushing for 613 yards and 12 more scores last season at
western Pennsylvania’s Monessen High School, about an hour north of
Rawlins arrived on campus last month to start taking classes and
could end up competing for playing time against 2012 backup Paul
Millard and redshirt freshman Ford Childress.
Rawlins was the only quarterback in West Virginia’s recruiting
class and could represent a change for Holgorsen, whose offenses
have included a 4,000-yard passer every season since 2005.
Whoever throws the ball next fall, West Virginia brought in
plenty of potential targets in the hopes of filling the void left
by Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. The Mountaineers signed five
wide receivers, including Georgia junior college transfers Mario
Alford and Ronald Carswell, a former Alabama signee.
”Probably our biggest need on offense was to add playmakers,”
Austin set several school records for rushing, receiving and
all-purpose yards, while Bailey, who is skipping his senior season,
owns numerous receiving marks, including 25 touchdown receptions
Among the 25 recruits signed by the Mountaineers were nine
junior college transfers – West Virginia signed one such recruit in
each of the past two years.
”One thing that I have seen change in college football is the
amount of guys from junior college that are being recruited,”
Holgorsen said. ”In my years at Texas Tech, Houston and Oklahoma
State, it wouldn’t be strange to have a class without any junior
college players. This year, a lot of schools are going after junior
Seven of the 25 recruits are already enrolled at WVU.
”It’s really good to put closure to it,” Holgorsen said. ”The
hardest 48 hours as a coach is Monday and Tuesday before signing
day. This staff did a heck of a job of identifying the guys that
wanted to be here. We put a list together of 18 people (Tuesday
night) that we thought we were going to sign, and all 18 of them
West Virginia’s defense gave up a school-record 495 points last
season. The recruiting class includes four linebackers, four
defensive backs and two linemen. The top find among them may be
linebacker Darrien Howard of Chaminade-Julienne High School in
Dayton, Ohio. He’s a two-time all-Ohio selection and amassed 75
tackles last season.
Holgorsen said the Mountaineers were in need of pass rushers and
he believes they landed several in junior college linebackers
Brandon Golson and d’Vante Henry, along with junior college lineman
Dontrill Hyman and Marvin Gross, who came from the same high school
in Baltimore as Austin.
West Virginia’s lack of depth at running back was a big issue in
2012, and Holgorsen hopes he solved that with the additions of
Dreamius Smith, Wendell Smallwood and Elijah Wellman.
The addition of four offensive linemen gives the Mountaineers 15
”You can never have enough of those guys,” Holgorsen said. ”I
like where we are from a depth standpoint. We just have to
establish some starters there.”
West Virginia pulled its recruiting class together after the
hiring of three assistant coaches in the past month. Safeties coach
Tony Gibson and receivers coach Lonnie Galloway are in their second
stints with the Mountaineers. Joining them as recent hires was
cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell.
”You always take into consideration what guys bring to the
table from a recruiting standpoint, from a geography standpoint.
That’s half the job,” Holgorsen said. ”All these guys do a great
job of coaching and getting out there recruiting and identifying
what we needed to have happen. That was part of the reason why some
of these guys were hired.”