Can New Recruits fill White and Alford’s Shoes?


National Signing Day concluded last week and West Virginia has a new crop of faces that could quite possibly be the future for the Mountaineer program.

Among the recruits signed on Signing Day, three wide receivers stood-out. West Virginia will be losing two valuable weapons. Wide receiver’s Kevin White and Mario Alford will graduate and look to further their careers in the NFL.

White was a highlight reel for West Virginia during his senior season. White reeled in 109 passes for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Alford was a duel threat. While a solid receiver his speed was crucial for special teams. Alford caught 65 passes for 945 and 11 touchdowns.

Oct 4, 2014; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Mario Alford (5) returns the opening kick-off against the Kansas Jayhawks during the first quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. West Virginia won 33-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Both were big pieces in head coach Dana Holgorsen’s upbeat offense, but now the duo will move on and West Virginia will look to new faces to lead the charge.

Three notable receivers were signed — Gary Jennings, Ka’Raun White and Jevon Durante. Of the three, the most interesting might be Ka’Raun White. The younger brother of Kevin White.

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Ka’Raun stands at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds. The younger White, has garnered attention not just because of his All-American brother.

Ka’Raun was voted to the All-Northeast Football Conference Second Team honoree. He played in 10 games, finishing with 42 catches for 552-yards — averaging 12.4 yard per game — and three touchdowns.

“(Wide receiver) Ka’Raun White is going to be a familiar face,” said Holgorsen on signing day.

“Yes, he is Kevin (White)’s brother from Lackawanna Community College. He wasn’t really on our radar until December, because he stepped up in the classroom and will be able to graduate and be here in May. He’s 6’2”, 200 pounds and his tape looks a lot like Kevin’s did at Lackawanna. We’re thrilled to get him on campus.”

Ka’Raun will follow the same steps as his older brother. He will transfer to WVU from Lackawanna College. He missed his senior season due to injury.

If Ka’Raun is anywhere near the talent level of his brother, with time, we could have the second coming of Kevin White.

Another receiver is Jevon Durante — at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds — he was a touted prospect. Jennings has been rated No. 20 nationally by Rivals and No. 163 overall. He was ranked No. 13 ranked WR by ESPN and No. 126 overall.

The third receiver that could make waves is Gary Jennings. Jennings, at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, has had national attention as well. He was pegged a three-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals, and 247Sports. He was also ranked the No. 2 ranked WR from he state of Virginia and No. 7 WR in the region by

“Just a few minutes ago (wide receiver) Gary Jennings committed out of Virginia, which was kind of the last piece of the puzzle today,” Holgorsen said on signing day. “He’s been one of our top receiver targets. Coach (Lonnie) Galloway did a great job cultivating a relationship with him and his family. He was a high priority today. We were extremely excited to get him on board.”

ESPN ranked Jennings the No. 19 best recruit from Virginia by ESPN and No. 25 by Rivals.

There’s no doubt, White and Alford’s shoes are big shoes to be filled. But, West Virginia has had success in grooming receivers. Tavon Austin, Steadman Bailey and White are all perfect examples. White didn’t really burst on to the scene until his senior year (only being with the program two years), but it could be a couple season before these recruits can make some noise.

West Virginia’s recruiting class ranked 35th in the nation and third in the Big 12 conference, behind only Oklahoma and Texas.

What say you, Mountaineer fans? Are these receivers capable of being the “next big thing” for WVU?