MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- National Signing Day is dedicated to numbers in football, and numbers defined Wednesday at West Virginia.
The focus wasn't the size of the recruiting class, the number of players from Florida, who ran the fastest 40-yard dash and who had the most yards receiving, but rather the alignment of the new defense.
WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen officially declared what had long been suspected. The 3-3-5 odd stack is no more, and the Mountaineers will use a blend of the 3-4 and the 4-3 beginning next year.
The 26-player recruiting class, which includes five players who enrolled last month and 21 who signed Wednesday, features 12 defensive players who will have a chance to grow into the new look.
"We wanted some more edge rush guys playing because we're going to more of a 3-4 scheme than the stack," Holgorsen said. "The stack uses more middle linebacker-type bodies, which we have on campus.
"We needed to be able to get some outside linebacker guys who'll be able to gain weight and come down and be defensive ends and guys who can come off the line and rush. We got two or three bodies we were looking for as far as being outside guys."
He mentioned Korey Harris, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive end from St. Augustine, Fla., as a pass rusher, and linebacker Garrett Hope (6-3, 225, The Woodlands, Texas), defensive lineman Noble Nwachukwu (6-2, 240, Wylie, Texas) and safety Sean Walters (6-2, 195, Hallandale Beach, Fla.) as future outside linebackers.
The 2012 class has two other defensive linemen, and 6-1, 280-pound Imarjaye Albury and 6-3, 290-pound Christian Brown already have enrolled. The only other linebacker is 6-2, 215-pound Sam Lebbie, a middle player from DeMatha Catholic High, in Washington D.C.
Holgorsen hired Joe DeForest from Oklahoma State last month to be at least the WVU co-coordinator on defense, and DeForest said he met with all the defensive players before signing day.
He was impressed right away. The first player he visited was K.J. Dillon, a 6-2, 180-pound safety from Apopka, Fla.
"I went to his door and I said, 'Wow, I hope that's you. Please, be K.J.,' " DeForest said. "It was, thank God."
DeForest said he explained to Dillon and the other nine who weren't already enrolled just what his philosophy is for the defense, and for the positions and what role the players would fill.
"I think we recruited long, lean, skilled kids who can run," DeForest said. "Wherever they fit, whether it's corner, safety, outside linebacker, receiver-to-corner, corner-to-receiver, it doesn't matter. They all fit and we're going to figure out where once we get what I call the inventory of the team."
WVU signed one quarterback. Ford Childress, from Houston, already is enrolled. Holgorsen said running backs Roshard Burney (5-10, 205, Lake Park, Fla.) and Torry Clayton (5-9, 195, Florida City, Fla.) should both compete right away.
They complement rising sophomores Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison, who are lighter, quicker backs.
"The more guys who can carry the ball the better," Holgorsen said.