MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The next crop of West Virginia Mountaineers will take shape on Wednesday as Neal Brown eagerly awaits National Letters of Intent from prospects across the country.
Brown has seen success on the recruiting trail, pulling top-50 classes in each of his first three seasons. His 2023 class could prove to be his best, as 247 Sports ranks the 20-man commitment list as the 35th-best in the nation.
This is what WVU fans should look for as the NLIs start hitting the Milan Puskar Center’s fax machine.
West Virginia’s top prospect, Rodney Gallagher, comes right from the Mountaineers’ backyard in Uniontown, Pennsylvania out of Laurel Highlands High School. A consensus four-star athlete, Gallagher will likely play wide receiver for the Mountaineers despite mostly playing quarterback in high school.
Gallagher was a big commitment for the Mountaineers in May, picking WVU over a host of rival schools like Penn State, Pitt and Texas. He gave WVU fans a scare in November when he made an official visit to Penn State but eased their fears shortly after when he affirmed his commitment to WVU.
Josiah Trotter is another headliner for West Virginia, and it’s not just for his name. The son of former Pro Bowler Jeremiah Trotter, the linebacker prospect out of Philadelphia is rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals and had an equally impressive list of potential suitors, including Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame and Clemson.
Rounding out the list of potential big names is Traylon Ray, a wide receiver out of Tallahassee, Florida. Rivals and 247 Sports rate Ray as a three-star recruit, while ESPN and the 247Sports Composite each pin him as a four-star talent. His list of potential schools understandably skewed more to the south of the map, as WVU fought off interest from Tennessee, Mississippi State, Florida and Miami among others to land his commitment.
Braham, a Morgantown native and University High product, is the son of WVU Sports Hall of Famer Rich Braham. While his dad earned notoriety in college and the NFL on the offensive line, Noah will line up on the edge as a tight end for WVU. He is a three-star prospect and one of the top talents in the Mountain State.
McIntyre is the son of Corey McIntyre Jr., a former linebacker at WVU and longtime fullback in the NFL. He is a consensus three-star prospect, and at 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, he will provide reinforcement to WVU’s defensive line.
Speaking of the line, Brown and his staff went heavy on recruiting guys up front. WVU landed eight commitments from linemen, four on each side of the ball.
James Heard out of Camden, New Jersey is the top talent on the defense. He is a three- and four-star edge rusher that reportedly racked up 18 sacks in seven games (including five in one game!).
Brown is adding plenty of size to his offensive line, especially on the edge. Standing 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing a reported 315 pounds, Johnny Williams IV is every bit of a Division I offensive tackle. Williams was a standout for Northeast High School in Georgia, helping his team rush for nearly 300 yards per game.
How to follow #NSD23
National Letters of Intent will arrive in Morgantown throughout the Early Signing Period, which begins on Wednesday and runs through Friday. The bulk of NLIs will be signed on Wednesday.
Gold and Blue Nation will have a live tracker for each and every signee on GoldAndBlueNation.com while providing additional coverage on social media.
GBN’s live Mountaineer GameDay Signing Day Special airs at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday on affiliated Nexstar stations. Be sure to join us as we recap all of the day’s biggest signings and analyze the 2023 class. The special will also air on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh on Thursday at 5 p.m. ET.