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Three-Point Stance: West Virginia, Virginia's tragedy, Charlotte's hire

Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman has thoughts on the tumult at West Virginia, the horrible news at Virginia and Charlotte's new head coach.

MORE THREE-POINT STANCE: Kenny Minchey, Brian Kelly, College Football Playoff | TCU, five-star revisions, mess at Texas A&M


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1. Bumpy country roads.

Neal Brown
Neal Brown (AP Images)

It has been a difficult week for players and coaches at West Virginia. With athletics director Shane Lyons relieved of his duties on Monday many people wondered whether head coach Neal Brown would also be shown the door. That was not the case, but there will still be ramifications from the uncertainty that surrounds the Mountaineers, and it will be reflected on the recruiting trail.

A few current West Virginia commits remain targets for other teams around the nation. Keep an eye on four-star linebacker Josiah Trotter, four-star defensive end James Heard, four-star receiver Rodney Gallagher, defensive tackle Justin Benton and possibly a few others.

The Mountaineers currently have their second-best average stars per commit rating since the 2010 class. However, the uncertainty can only hurt their efforts on the trail and top commits might not be shy about looking elsewhere if things continue to head in the wrong direction in Morgantown.



2. Devastation in Charlottesville. 

Virginia coach Tony Elliott
Virginia coach Tony Elliott (AP Images)

Our condolences go out to the families, teammates, coaches and the entire University of Virginia community following this week's tragic shootings that killed football players Devin Chandler, D'Sean Perry and Lavel Davis. As is the case with thousands of high school prospects, Rivals followed their recruitments and path to college football.

Chandler's path to Virginia wasn't as straightforward as it was for Perry or Davis. He finished his high school career at talent-rich Cornelius (N.C.) Hough, where he caught North Carolina quarterback commit Tad Hudson's first high school touchdown pass. After signing with Wisconsin he transferred to Virginia, where the coaching staff had high hopes for him.

Davis had a tremendous start to his college career after graduating from Woodland High School outside of Charleston, S.C. Even after he left for Charlottesville he maintained a strong presence in his hometown and helped groom college prospects such as 2024 Rivals100 OL Kam Pringle.

Perry was on some loaded teams at Miami’s Gulliver Prep, but he stood out in his own right. Despite some other prospects being more heavily recruited, our analyst in South Florida at the time remembered Perry as a smart player who more than held his own against tough competition.



3. Charlotte makes a bold hire.   

Charlotte announced the hiring of new head coach Biff Poggi on Tuesday afternoon, and many are wondering what the 49ers are going to get in this mostly unknown head coach. Poggi used to be the head coach at the Gilman School in Baltimore, where he played in high school. From there he went on to become an off-field assistant role at Michigan before returning to the high school ranks as head coach at St. Frances Academy in downtown Baltimore. Poggi helped build that program into the national powerhouse that we know today.

As a college head coach, though, Poggi is largely an unknown. Lately, he's had an up-close look at the University of Michigan program and helped build it into a College Football Playoff contender, drawing on his extensive organizational experience honed during a very successful career in the business world as a hedge fund manager.

In the past, he was an important behind-the-scenes figure in the recruiting world, especially in the Mid-Atlantic. Poggi has been a sounding board for college coaches looking for their next big prospect and others trying to find hidden gems. Now, as a college head coach himself, he'll be able to call his own shots and recruit who he wants to build a college football team in his own image.

As a high school head coach Poggi became known as a tough guy but also as someone who was more than willing to help players and coaches within his program. Poggi has been involved with some of the nation's top recruits, and he was able to find many of them because he understood how to build a recruiting network in a small, tightly knit community like Baltimore. There's a lot of talent in the Carolinas that fly under the radar, so expect Poggi to tap into those neglected resources as he tries to make waves in the Queen City.