MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The 2021 regular season is in WVU football’s rearview mirror. Now, the program turns its attention to the future as it looks forward to welcoming the first additions of the 2022 recruiting class on Wednesday’s start to the early signing period.

This year’s class is full of highly-touted recruits and transfers, and is currently the highest-ranked out of Brown’s three so far at West Virginia. In fact, ESPN ranked the Mountaineers’ class as the 22nd nationally and the third in the Big 12.

Things are always liable to change until pens hit the paper, however. Verbal commitments don’t set anything in stone, and Brown knows to expect the unexpected once the National Letters of Intent start rolling in.

“There’s always going to be surprises, and so it’s never done until the ink’s dry on the signature of the NLI,” Brown said this past week on the The Neal Brown Show. “I’m proud of what our staff has done, I think we’ve got a very good class together, the last week or so is going to be important for us to finish strong.”

Brown did note on the show that there are plenty of spots he needs to fill in this class, namely at the wide receiver, linebacker, defensive line and secondary positions. Since the show aired, though, he has earned two additional commitments to help bolster those latter two position groups.

West Virginia currently has 18 commitments in its 2022 class.

Here are some of the top names expected to join the Mountaineers during the early period:

Jacolby Spells, CB, American Heritage High School (Fla.)

Spells is the top-rated commit to the 2022 class, earning a four-star rating from ESPN and 247Sports as a cornerback. He was a big get for the Mountaineers as he announced his decision over the summer.

“Morgantown, we’re gonna try to win a national championship,” he said during his announcement on CBS Sports HQ.

The ESPN150 defensive back didn’t always play on the defensive side of the ball, however. In fact, he started out as a wide receiver for American Heritage before switching positions. He stuck with the team’s kick return duties as a senior, though, amassing 103 yards in 2021.

The native of Plantation, Florida, hasn’t been shy to show off his excitement to join the Mountaineers this season. In November, he was spotted donning custom WVU-styled cleats for American Heritage’s 42-14 win over Boynton Beach.

Nicco Marchiol, QB, Hamilton High School (Ariz.)

This four-star quarterback is one of the most highly-anticipated prospects of the 2022 class, as he has had a knack for making national headlines all season. Marchiol’s memorable senior campaign started off with one of the most wild highlights one can find on a football field when he led Hamilton to a 17-point comeback over Bishop Gorman over the last minute of the game.

The season ended with just as much of a bang as it began. Marchiol led the Hamilton offense to the AIA state semifinals after an 11-0 start, earning the Gatorade Arizona Football Player of the Year award. He racked up 2,429 yards and 35 touchdowns, while adding six scores on the ground.

Marchiol teased his joining the Mountaineers on Dec. 7, when he posed for a photo with Brown and quarterbacks coach Sean Regan during a visit to his home in Chandler, Arizona.

Corbin Page, TE, Spring Valley High School (W.Va.)

West Virginia’s top in-state recruit in 2022, Page makes his way from Huntington to Morgantown as a three-star tight end. In fact, he will likely line up next to his old high school teammate, freshman All-American tackle Wyatt Milum, who was WVU’s top recruit of the 2021 class.

In fact, Page was WVU’s first commitment of the 2022 class, committing nearly a full year before his early signing period on Dec. 26, 2020.

A two-way player for Spring Valley, Page was one of three first team All-State selections from his team, earning the nod as a defensive lineman. Spring Valley was knocked out of the state playoffs in the second round, falling to Martinsburg.

Lee Kpogba, LB, East Mississippi CC

Kpogba joins WVU as one of the few prospects with Division I experience, having begun his college football career at Syracuse in 2019. He left the Orange after his sophomore season in 2020, but not before logging 44 total tackles and a sack in 22 career games.

The North Carolina native went back on the recruiting trail as a junior college prospect, having joined East Mississippi Community College. He went on to become a top-10 JUCO recruit (as well as the top linebacker in this year’s JUCO class), and committed to West Virginia on Dec. 2.

Like many of his fellow 2022 commits, Kpogba met with Brown and inside linebackers coach Jeff Koonz at his home in North Carolina.

GBN’s coverage of National Signing Day

Gold and Blue Nation will have live coverage of WVU’s early signing period with a live blog, which will be updated as the NLIs roll in to the Milan Puskar Center starting Wednesday morning. GBN will also be at the facility in the afternoon to hear Brown’s thoughts on the class during his 1 p.m. ET press conference, then will recap the day in the live Mountaineer GameDay 2021 Signing Day Special at 7:30 p.m. ET on West Virginia Nexstar stations and AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh.

Click here for more details on the MGD 2021 Signing Day Special.