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Big East lunchtime links: Mountaineers' impressive recruiting

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
West Virginia underachieved on the field this season but is hitting a home run on the recruiting trail, Mitch Vingle writes in the Charleston Gazette. Vingle says this may be the Mountaineers' most impressive class ever because of more than just talent.

"According to those in the know, every commitment the Mountaineers have at this moment is good to go (academically). Every single one.

"That, of course, is a change from the Rich Rodriguez era. ... Today, WVU can still sign iffy prospects to letters of intent and wait to see if they pan out, but that's not how the situation is being handled. Which makes the incoming talent haul -- especially considering the underlying circumstances -- very impressive indeed."

• Sophomore safety Latarrius Thomas is transferring from Louisville, but coach Steve Kragthorpe won't give him a release to Arkansas, where Thomas could be reunited with former coach Bobby Petrino, or to Eastern Michigan, where ex-Cardinals defensive coordinator Ron English is now the head man. C.L. Brown has the story in The Courier-Journal.

• Brian Kelly, who signed a new contract last year worth $1.2 million annually through 2012, is on the verge of getting another new deal, Bill Koch writes in the Cincinnati Enquirer. This one will likely include longevity bonuses. Kelly also had this to say about the FedEx Orange Bowl loss to Virginia Tech:

"I don't like the way it was coached," Kelly said, "or the way it was played. There's accountability for everybody and it starts with me. I just think I did a poor job of getting our kids to make the plays necessary to win."

• Miami has cleared South Florida as a possible landing spot for former quarterback Robert Marve, Brett McMurphy writes in the Tampa Tribune. The Bulls have taken plenty of transfers in the past, and Marve's family has said they'd like for him to stay close to home.