Learned a new phrase Wednesday: red-button. As in, look at your ringing cell phone, see it’s someone you don’t want to talk to and — bam — red-button that fool. I feel better knowing this.
So rather than putting a red bow on signing day, let’s red-button our coverage and push through one more review, beginning not with Dana Holgorsen’s press conference, but with the tale of Tony Gibson.
He’s back at WVU and seemingly happier than ever.
Of the three new coaches, he made the biggest impact on signing day by switching Mario Alford and Brandon Golson from Arizona to WVU. They’re going to be factors next season. I asked Gibson about the tactic and about what some might have to say about it — and remember, Arizona flipped a WVU kid last year.
Gibson understood the question and gave, I think, a very good answer.
“It happens in recruiting,” Gibson said. “Some people say it’s unethical, but that’s what it has become right now. I’m not trying to say it in a bad way. That’s recruiting and some guys are calling kids and trying to steal them at the end.
“Everyone is doing it. Is it right? Is it wrong? That’s for somebody else to judge other than college coaches who are only trying to get the best guys for their program.”
- Lonnie Galloway and Brian Mitchell are mentioned in the linked-to story above and Mitchell was the one who made good on a lengthy and unusual relationship with defensive end Dontrill Hyman. Galloway was, as he said, “a friendly face to talk to,” one who checked in on Alford and Shelton Gibson because they’d be playing for him at WVU.
Galloway was caught off guard by Dana Holgorsen’s invitation to return to WVU, but happy to be a part of it.
- Robert Gillespie got better with the additions of Dreamius Smith, Eli Wellman and Wendell Smallwood. He seems really high on Dreamius and his immediate impact.
- The winner was probably Erik Slaughter. Pass rush was a point of emphasis and Hyman, Brandon Golson, d’Vante Henry, Al-Rasheed Benton and Marvin Gross all project as quarterback chasers. There’s an immediate thought of starting Hyman in Jorge Wright’s defensive tackle spot. Golson and Henry will play, probably in situational roles, too.
WVU had a number of linebackers and cornerbacks and safeties and needed help to make life easier on them and Slaughter gets to work with the line and the rush linebackers to do that. If Hyman, Golson and Henry help next season he’ll have a much more experienced and seemingly much more capable lineup, one that was looking better before this.
- Keith Patterson was a winner, too. For starters, he got Gibson, who Patterson really liked at Pitt, and Gibson helped right away with Golson. They seem to think he can be a player next year at OLB, and WVU really only had Garvin and Francis there last year. They’re both gone. But Patterson ended up with many of the more highly regarded players and some junior college help. He filled out classes and depth and seems pretty pleased with everything.
One last thing: Patterson called Darrien Howard “maybe the most versatile player that was recruited” and said he was 250-plus pounds. How about 250 plus 40? Word is Howard is above 290 pounds now and will be a defensive lineman with the Mountaineers — and people are very pleased by this. It’s positive weight, he looks good and he could play nose or tackle this season because he’s quick and strong and most versatile.