With three players in the Top 50 of the 2021 recruiting class, the state of West Virginia is quickly becoming a football fertile ground for recruits. New West Virginia Head Coach Neal Brown has said that he will make keeping in-state recruits a top priority. According to Brown, “if you’re a talented high school football player in the state of West Virginia, we’re going to make it very difficult for you to not come play football here at WVU.”
The three players in the Top 50 of the 2021 recruiting class according to 247 Sports are Isaiah Johnson, the #5 overall ranked recruit in the 2021 class and the #1 CB, Wyatt Milum (OT), the #38 overall recruit and Zeiqui Lawton, the #45 overall recruit in the class.
Isaiah Johnson – Bluefield, WV, CB, 6-0, 177 pounds, #5 Overall recruit – Johnson is the crown jewel of this class for the Mountaineers. He’s currently listed as “100%” on crystal ball predictions on various recruiting websites. He holds offers from Kentucky, Marshall, Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. According to 247, “Johnson has a good frame with length. Can carry 200 pounds comfortably. Verified 4.52 in 40. Quick and fast. Changes direction well. Smooth in backpedal. Loose hips and transitions easily to turn and run with receiver. Tracks ball well. Drives on ball well. Superb body control with plus athleticism. Quick out of breaks. Closes on ball in the air. Will set the edge in running game. Willing tackler. Needs to play more physically. Upper body strength improvement is needed to contend with college receivers. Elite talent who can impact an elite program immediately. First round NFL draft pick potential.” Prediction: West Virginia
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Wyatt Milum – Huntington, WV, OT, 6’7, 265, #39 Overall Recruit – The #2 recruit in the state of West Virginia, Milum holds offers from Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Marshall, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia. With only four offensive lineman on the roster outlook and hard recruiting by Michigan, the Wolverines appear to be the leader for his services. Penn State is also on him big time. West Virginia will need to start to lay on the full-court press before they get too far behind Michigan and Penn State. Prediction: Michigan/West Virginia Toss-up
Zeiqui Lawton, South Charleston, WV, 6’3, 240, #45 Overall Recruit – Lawton compares favorably to the Dallas Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence and appears to be as close to a lock as there is in this class. He has spent a considerable amount of time in Morgantown on campus and at camps. According to 247, “Wide shoulders with frame to play strong side defensive end. Can hold 255+ pounds. Strong, athletic and quick. Disengages well and re-routes down the line of scrimmage. Has good change of direction. Footwork is an asset. Patient and smart. Understands gap integrity. Excels when ball is run at him. Has speed to get around edge. Consistently wins pad level battle. Productive and also plays running back. Must improve technique and be able to use combination moves. Length is a question. Multi-year player at high level program. Second day NFL draft potential.” Prediction: West Virginia Lock