Much is made of the Mountaineers’ recruiting the past seven-plus months, what with 14 oral commitments for 2009 already, yet here is a cautionary tale for folks who place wayyyyyy too much attention, time and money on the pursuit of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds: Eight of West Virginia’s 26 signees aren’t here.
More than a few may never come to campus.
Missing are: junior-college defensive end Tevita Finau, who needs four more credits to graduate Phoenix College and aims to report to West Virginia in January; non-qualifier Jerome Swinton, a Florida defensive back whom the aforementioned D.J. Thomas replaces and isn’t expected back; Virginia defensive back J.J. Dorsey, who went home sick in July, but he still didn’t meet academic approval so his return is up in the air; defensive lineman Corey Freeman of Cleveland, who was in summer school and still awaits NCAA Clearinghouse approval; defensive lineman Bernard Smith of Atlanta, who will attend Georgia Military College prep, which means he ultimately could sign elsewhere; defensive lineman Chris Palmer of Philadelphia, who will wait until January to enroll at West Virginia to further rehab a shoulder injury; cornerback Brantwon Bowser of Phoenix College, who underwent season-ending knee surgery in spring drills; and offensive lineman Benji Kemoeatu, brother of Steelers guard Chris, who is headed the junior-college route, possibly in Arizona at Mesa. So long as Chris remains in Pittsburgh, that gives Benji a sure reason to come to West Virginia. . . but their other brother, Ma’ake, plays for Carolina nowadays and a move by either NFL brother could conceivably lure Benji into following them elsewhere.
Here's a glimpse of why the 'eers are big on Finau: