Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

February 6, 2013

WVU adds quarterback; signs nine JUCO transfers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia recruit Chavas Rawlins already has one famous alumnus buzzing about his prospects at quarterback.

The mobile Rawlins signed a national letter-of-intent on Wednesday to play for the Mountaineers, who could use him right away after the graduation of record-setting passer Geno Smith.

Former Mountaineer quarterback Pat White said on his Twitter feed Wednesday that "something tells me it's going to be fun watching" Rawlins.

The 6-foot-3 Rawlins threw for 1,382 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for 613 yards and 12 more scores last season at western Pennsylvania's Monessen High School, about an hour north of Morgantown.

Rawlins arrived on campus last month to start taking classes and could end up competing for playing time against 2012 backup Paul Millard and redshirt freshman Ford Childress.

Rawlins was the only quarterback in West Virginia's recruiting class and could represent a change for Holgorsen, whose offenses have included a 4,000-yard passer every season since 2005.

Whoever throws the ball next fall, West Virginia brought in plenty of potential targets in the hopes of filling the void left by Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. The Mountaineers signed five wide receivers, including Georgia junior college transfers Mario Alford and Ronald Carswell, a former Alabama signee.

"Probably our biggest need on offense was to add playmakers," Holgorsen said.

Austin set several school records for rushing, receiving and all-purpose yards, while Bailey, who is skipping his senior season, owns numerous receiving marks, including 25 touchdown receptions last season.

Among the 25 recruits signed by the Mountaineers were nine junior college transfers — West Virginia signed one such recruit in each of the past two years.

"One thing that I have seen change in college football is the amount of guys from junior college that are being recruited," Holgorsen said. "In my years at Texas Tech, Houston and Oklahoma State, it wouldn't be strange to have a class without any junior college players. This year, a lot of schools are going after junior college guys."

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