West Virginia’s Big Three

With three players in the Top 200 of the 2021 recruiting class, the state of West Virginia will have one of its best classes in years.  West Virginia Head Coach Neal Brown has made 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 200 of the 2021 recruiting class according to 247 Sports are Isaiah Johnson, the #24 overall ranked recruit in the 2021 class and the #3 CB, Wyatt Milum (OT), the #83 overall recruit and Zeiqui Lawton, the #160 overall recruit in the class.

Isaiah Johnson – Bluefield, WV, CB, 6-0, 177 pounds, #24 Overall, 5 Star recruit – Johnson is the crown jewel of this class for the Mountaineers.  He’s currently listed as “50%” to WVU 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

Wyatt Milum – Huntington, WV, OT, 6’7, 265, #83 Overall, 4 Star 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.  West Virginia is a bit behind Virgina Tech now, but Milum has visited Morgantown multiple times this season and grew up a West Virginia fan.  With the current state of West Virginia’s offensive line, landing Milum would be huge.  Prediction:  Virginia Tech/West Virginia Toss-up

Zeiqui Lawton, South Charleston, WV, 6’3, 240, #160 Overall, 4 Star Recruit – Lawton appears to be one of the most underrated prospects in the nation in the 2021 class.  Tom Lemming, Co-Host of the Lemming Report on CBS Sports Network and in his 41st year as Editor of the Prep Football Magazine known nationally as the Bible of recruiting, raved about Lawton’s potential recently, saying, “After meeting him and watching his film I’m convinced he’s one of the top defensive end prospects in the country.”

Lawton compares favorably to the Dallas Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence and once appeared to be a lock for the Mountaineers.  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