This year is the first season for an early signing day in college football. Typically, recruits sign the first week of February, but now they can sign in a three-day window from December 20-22. Then whichever recruits are still unsigned, they can sign from that February day until April 7th, but most will be signed, sealed and delivered by that time.
The new early signing period should help teams like West Virginia as it gives them the chance to lock down their commitments without the usual drama of a February flip at the last minute.
For example, according to offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, four SEC schools came after quarterback Trey Lowe in the last three days, but the Mountaineers were able to get Lowe’s signature, whereas without the early signing, a team would have been more likely to steal him away.
For the most part, WVU succeeded today. But there was one player that flipped and the whole situation was a complete mess.
That player is Alex Williams. Williams is a 6’7”, 240-pound, high 3-star defensive end which is a huge need for the Mountaineers. Defensive line recruiting has always been a challenge for WVU as instead of finding blue chip players they usually settle for the “diamond in the rough” types.
Williams had been committed and all in on WVU for months. Mark Richt of Miami and Urban Meyer of Ohio State actually called his school not long ago to get in contact with him, but the skilled pass rusher said “thanks, but no thanks” and was 100 percent committed to Dana Holgorsen.
But all of a sudden, something changed. Meyer visited Williams’ school a couple weeks ago, and then before you knew it, Williams was at the OSU campus for a visit and decided to switch schools and commit to the Buckeyes.
I know how Meyer works. He most likely lied and told Williams he’s been a dream recruit of his and couldn’t imagine him anywhere else. He once told a recruit a few years ago on his official visit that he had a dream about him the night before and he woke up crying because he knew it was meant to be. Some found that story amazing, I found it really creepy.
Anyway, back on September 9th, a five-star defensive end named Micah Parsons was on a visit to the Buckeyes campus. He saw ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit and Eddie George and asked to take a picture with them. It turned out to be a recruiting violation being that both Herbstreit and George are Ohio State alums. Ohio State self-reported the violation and some say that OSU agreed to stop recruiting Parsons as a penalty.
To put Williams squarely in the Buckeye’s crosshairs, they also lost a verbal commitment from a defensive end just last weekend.
Yes, the Buckeyes reportedly plan to use Williams as athlete, potentially putting him on the offense as a skill player, a 6’7 tight end is not bad. But the fact remains, until these recent transgressions, Williams was a Mountaineer.
Now that it is all said and done, that picture has ended the Mountaineers chance with Williams.
This is a once in a lifetime chance for Williams, the only day he will ever get to officially commit to a school. This is his day, and everyone should be happy for the young man. But Mountaineer fans will see it just a little differently….
It’s just typical West Virginia luck. Another school does something they shouldn’t and WVU pays the price at the end.