MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Neal Brown and the West Virginia coaching staff won arguably the biggest recruiting battle of Brown’s tenure last week with the signing of wideout Rodney Gallagher.

The Class of 2023 recruit is a four-star prospect, according to 247Sports, ESPN, and Rivals.

247 Sports ranks Gallagher as the sixth-highest-rated recruit WVU has landed since the year 2000, when recruiting sites became more common and uniform.

Topping that list is WVU Sports Hall of Famer Noel Devine, and just ahead of Gallagher is quarterback Geno Smith.

While it will still be one more year before the future WVU wideout arrives in Morgantown, six current Mountaineers rank among the best recruits that West Virginia has landed over the last 22 years.

Offensive tackle Wyatt Milum, who was part of the 2021 recruiting class, was the top-rated recruit in the state as a high school senior. As a true freshman, the Spring Valley High School product played in 12 games and started eight at right tackle.

Milum is West Virginia’s seventh-highest-rated recruit, with a 0.9507 composite rating.

Just below him is Fairmont native Dante Stills, who was also the No. 1 player in the Mountain State when he was coming out of Fairmont Senior High School in 2018.

Stills, who enters his fifth season with the Mountaineers, had a composite rating of 0.9467 as a prep player, and is the eighth-highest-rated player that WVU has signed since 2000.

Cornerback Jacolby Spells is part of a Class of 2022 recruiting class, which is among the best in recent history for the Mountaineers. Officially, 247Sports rates this group as the 35th-best in the country, while Rivals ranks it as the 31st-best in the land.

Spells, according to 247Sports, is the highest-rated recruit of this class. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida native is a consensus four-star recruit, and checks in at No. 22 on the 21st Century recruits list for the Mountaineers.

Spells is rated slightly more favorably than current WVU wideout Kaden Prather. The 6-foot-4-inch pass catcher has what it takes to play at the next level, according to wide receivers coach Tony Washington.

If that holds true, it would only further back up the four-star rating he was given as a high school prospect. Prather is listed as the 23rd-best recruit that a West Virginia coaching staff has landed since 2000.

There is one more top 30 recruit who will be on the roster this year for the Mountaineers. Along with Spells, he is the most highly anticipated recruit from the 2022 class.

Of course, he is none other than freshman quarterback Nicco Marchiol. The Arizona native earned high school football player of the year honors from both Gatorade and MaxPreps after a stellar senior season.

Marchiol is also a consensus four-star recruit, and is listed as one of the Top 20 high school quarterbacks in the country. With a lot of praise and expectations, he checks in as the 29th-best Mountaineer recruit of the century.

There is one more highly rated recruit that will be in uniform for the Mountaineers this fall. And that is running back Jaylen Anderson.

Anderson redshirted last season but is said to be in the mix of potential ball carriers behind Tony Mathis. The former four-star back out of Perry, Ohio is one of the multiple “home run hitters” that WVU believes it has in its running back room.

Anderson, who was the third-highest-rated high school recruit for WVU’s Class of 2021, comes in as the No. 39 recruit that West Virginia has gotten to sign on the dotted line since the year 2000.

West Virginia opens the 2022 season at Heinz Field against Pittsburgh in the revitalization of the Backyard Brawl on Thursday, September 1.