First, WVU faces Arizona at around 9:45 on Thursday which means that most won't have to skip worky to watch the game and with Good Friday following the late start shouldn't cause too much havoc with work schedules should you wish to indulge in a few beverages during the game. We'll try to get a review of Arizona up tomorrow or Wednesday. Off the top of my head I can say that the Wildcats were under .500 in conference, were swept by Arizona State, and lost a "must-win" to start the Pac-10 conference tourney versus Stanford. In fact:
The Wildcats' only wins in the last six games were a pair of victories over woeful Oregon State, which was 0-18 in the Pac-10.Oh and Lute Olsen has been in and out as coach this season, but is looking to get back in for the tournament so he can make his patented early exit for the summer.
Spring practice started with the new coaching staff. First the bad news which everyone already knew; the defense lost a lot of players from last year.
Here are the cold, hard facts: Of the 11 players who started on defense during the Mountaineers' 48-28 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma, seven are gone. That includes four of the five secondary positions (safeties Wicks and Ryan Mundy and cornerbacks Larry Williams and Antonio Lewis) and two of the three linemen (nose tackle Dykes and end Dingle). Also gone is one of the three linebackers, Magro.That is why WVU signed 150 defensive linemen a month ago. Speaking of signing here is some good news. Chris Beatty may have already opened up Virginia more than any other coach in recent WVU history as WVU received committments from a top quarterback and possibly the top receiver in the nation (both from VA) this weekend as WR Logan Heastie and QB Tajh Boyd both verballed this weekend after unofficial visits to Morgantown.
While West Virginia's top two tacklers - seniors Reed Williams and Mortty Ivy - are back, seven of the top 10 on that list are gone. That includes safety/linebacker John Holmes, who was one of three players dismissed from the team last month after being arrested on drug charges.
Chris Beatty, a former high school coach in the Virginia Beach area was a big factor for Heastie in the end.Heastie is currently the number 1 receiver and 22nd rated recruit according to rivals. More on Boyd here:
“That was probably the biggest thing for me since he’s from my area, he’s like family,” he said. “I trust him with everything and don’t think he’ll lie to me. You know when you go to college it comes down to trust because everything else is basically the same. I trust him with everything. I know some people say bad things about him since he put up 80-points on teams in high school, but he doesn’t down anybody and stays positive.”
One last conversation with Beatty sealed the deal for Heastie.
“I talked to him and said I know you’ve been at Hampton and Northern Illinois the past few years,” he said. “I asked, ‘Coach, you’re not going to leave anytime soon.’ He told me he’s going to stick around and he just bought a house here.”
Boyd said he had scholarship offers from 10 other schools: Virginia, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Boston College, Michigan, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Maryland, East Carolina and Minnesota. Though he cannot sign his letter-of-intent for another 11 months, Boyd said he will not change his mind.
"I'm solid," he said Saturday night while returning from an unofficial visit to Morgantown. "I'll take my official (visit) to West Virginia, but I won't take any other officials.