Dana Holgorsen certainly has a type of recruit that he likes to go after. As we’ve seen time and time again, West Virginia loves to bring versatile, athletic recruits to Morgantown, and yesterday, the Mountaineers landed one of the most versatile safeties in the class of 2018. After months of recruitment, and a number of twists and turns, Kwantel Raines, one of WVU’s top remaining targets, committed to West Virginia last night.
All glory to God.. pic.twitter.com/gaiszSZWyS
— Telly Mac (@KwantelRaines) October 30, 2017
THE RAINES FILE
Raines is the 19th commitment in West Virginia’s 2018 class, and the second highest ranked prospect, behind defensive tackle Dante Stills. He’s the fourth defensive back, along with cornerbacks Jayce Rogers and Joshua Norwood, and fellow safety Charlie Benton. With the addition of Raines, West Virginia’s class has now moved into the top 25 in the 247sports team rankings, and fourth in the Big 12, behind Texas, Oklahoma and TCU.
Raines picked West Virginia over 25 other offers, 17 of which came from power five programs. The home state mainstays Pitt and Penn State served as West Virginia’s main competition for much of this recruitment, as did Florida, but with the firing of Jim McElwain, the Gators fell out of contention. He visited Morgantown over the weekend as they hosted Oklahoma State, and spent plenty of time with his primary recruiter, Tony Gibson.
On the field, Raines has the talent to contribute as a true freshman, a very rare trait in the defensive backfield. With Kyzir White and Marvin Gross set to depart after this season, playing time will be up for grabs this offseason, and Raines is a legitimate contender. He’s solid both in zone coverage and as a tackler, and has the range and athleticism to play as a deep safety at the next level. He needs to get stronger in man coverage, but West Virginia is very good at defensive back development, so I have no doubts that he’ll be very good at the next level. His ceiling comparison is Reggie Nelson.