MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Darrien Howard, a four-star defensive recruit from Dayton, Ohio, was cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center Wednesday, WVU confirmed to the Charleston Daily Mail.
With Howard arriving to campus as soon as today and fellow freshman Isaac McDonald arriving last week after receiving his clearance, the Mountaineers saw all 26 players who signed in the 2013 recruiting class qualify and make it to campus.
Coordinator of recruiting operations Ryan Dorchester, who has been at the university in some capacity since 2004, said it hasn't happened for as long as he's been at the school. Records as far back as the 2001 class show at least one player not qualifying.
"Dorchester has done nice work," said Athletic Director Oliver Luck of Dorchester, who is in his second year in his role. "A number of people have."
Freshman quarterback Chavas Rawlins enrolled in January, but transferred after the spring semester. Junior college transfer d'Vante Henry was with the team for summer workouts, but left for personal reasons before camp started Aug. 1. His status is unclear, but he's welcome back whenever he resolves his issue.
The Mountaineers also sought outside counsel from Mike Glazier, an attorney known for his success working with schools in matters involving the NCAA. WVU told the Daily Mail last week the issue necessitating Glazier's help involved the initial eligibility of a freshman.
"It's a credit to a couple of people who have done a really good job," Luck said. "One is (director of football operations) Alex Hammond, based on his work with the NCAA and the Eligibility Center, which is where he used to work when we hired him. (Associate athletic director for compliance) Keli Cunningham has done a nice job as well. Those are the two who I think have really helped.
"We'll still have cases when a kid is not going to get eligible because of the high school transcript or whatever, but they've done a nice job of making sure we get commitments from kids who have a good shot of getting through our admissions process and then the NCAA's."
Howard is 6-foot-2 and, according to defensive coordinator Keith Patterson and Coach Dana Holgorsen, close to 300 pounds. Both said he'll play defensive line in college.
Howard was a three-year starter at linebacker, who also played fullback on offense, at Dayton's Chaminade-Julienne High. In 2012, Howard earned first-team Division IV All-Ohio honors with 75 tackles. He had the same recognition a year earlier, when he made 154 tackles and had five sacks, three interceptions and four fumble recoveries. Howard was also his district's defensive player of the year.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.