Remaining Spots: The Hilltoppers have room to take up to 34 recruits in this class. The NCAA only allows 25 prospects to enroll in a calendar year, but eight (nine counting DaMarcus Smith) of the Hilltopper's commitments are already enrolled at WKU. That means those nine count against LAST year's (2012) total.
Taking nine away from the 34 spots, this means there is still room for up to 25 fresh commitments to be signed, with 21 having already verbally committed.
There also are a couple of commitments (out of the 22) that may not qualify academically, may change their minds, etc.
Remaining needs by position: In our last class breakdown on Jan. 1, we thought the Toppers needed commitments at quarterback, middle linebacker, defensive line and defensiveback.
Since that article, WKU has added Todd Porter at quarterback, Drew Davis at middle linebacker, Tanner Reeves/Demarcus Glover/Kalvin Robinson/Raphael Cox on the defensive line, and Leverick Johnson at defensiveback.
In short, WKU has filled all their needs with a week left until Signing Day. If anything, they could maybe use one more commitment from a defensive tackle.
Expect WKU to take a "get the best remaining talent" approach for their final few commitments.
Dawkins is obviously the most talented prospect left on the board. The four-star runningback has WKU, Purdue, and Colorado State in his final three (read more here). The Toppers' have a great shot at Dawkins unless his visit to Purdue over the Feb. 1 weekend goes really well--which if that happens--expect him to sign there.
Taylor is an 6-foot-1, 185 pound receiver that the coaching staff is pursuing hard. He has a few schools in the mix for his recruitment, but it's believed it's between WKU and Colorado State as finalists for his services. Expect Taylor to be a Hilltopper by (or on) Signing Day, but anything can happen.
McDonald visited over the Jan. 25 weekend, but hasn't returned contact attempts to get updates on his recruitment or visit. The three-star safety could be one of several Signing Day surprises for WKU, but we'll see.
Staples is an underrated safety who described his visit to WKU on Jan. 18 as a '9 or 9.5' out of 10 (more here). Staples was scheduled to visit Middle Tennessee last weekend, and had Southern Miss scheduled for this upcoming weekend. We'll catch up with Staples either late this week or early next week to gauge where he stands before Signing Day. He'd be a huge pickup for the Hilltoppers, with a skillset that's similar to current Hilltopper safety Jonathan Dowling. Staples has less natural athleticism than Dowling, but has similar measurements to the former Florida Gator and is a better tackler.
Fennell committed to WKU in August over offers from over a dozen BCS programs, but flipped to South Florida when Willie Taggart left for the Tampa program. The South Fort Myers target is visiting WKU over the Feb. 1 weekend, and might flip back to the Toppers' on Signing Day. According to a report by the Naples Daily News, Fennell has already flipped his commitment, but WKUInsider cannot confirm that at this time. The three-star's HS coach, Grant Redhead, said Fennell wanted to flip back to WKU because "the academic programs suit him better." We'll know more about Fennell's status and WKU after his visit over the Feb. 1 weekend.
Funderburk is an underrated wide receiver (a consensus three-star/Top 100 receiver on most networks) who has been committed to South Alabama for months. The 6-foot, 180 pound receiver had interest from many BCS level programs (including offers from Alabama, Clemson and South Carolina among others), but his grades kept him from serious consideration for those schools. Now, it's rumored Funderburk will be visiting WKU over the Feb. 1 weekend. Certainly one to keep an eye on if he makes it to Bowling Green this weekend.
Stay tuned with WKUInsider.com for the latest in WKU recruiting and team news.