As we get ready to kickoff another year of Mountaineer football, lets dive into previewing the defensive backs and safeties for Tony Gibson’s defense in 2017.
Last season, the DAWGS more than carried its own weight as arguably the best defense in the Big XII. Now, Gibson will be replacing the nations leading interceptor in Rasul Douglas, but will that prove too difficult?
The cornerback group will be highlighted by Elijah Battle, Corey Winfield (Syracuse Transfer), Mike Daniels and Hakeem Bailey.
Battle has the most playing time, but the entire group will be called upon early and often in 2017. Winfield transfers from a Syracuse team where he saw starter’s minutes the past two seasons.
There is also a wave of newcomers in Kevin Williams, Sean Mahone, Jake Long, Eli Godfre and JUCO transfer Fontez Davis. These guys will have heavy expectations placed upon them, but so was a team in rebuilding mode last year.
At safety, West Virginia boasts a pair of familiar names in Dravon Askew-Henry and Kyzir White.
The the plot thickens by adding Jovanni Stewart, Marvin Gross Jr, Shane Commodore and Toyous Avery who have all seen time this past season. And dont be alarmed to hear and see the names of some young talent new to the team.
With the likes E.J. Brown, Kenny Robinson, Collin Smith, Rashon Lusane (Morgan State transfer)Exoree Loe, Demonte Lindsay, Osman Kamara and Ricky Johns.
This group of safeties may be one of the best we’ve seen in Morgantown and could continue to grow. There will be a tough 3 week stretch at the end of the season that could very well determine the season. Look for some big plays, some hard hits and some DAWGS gunning to be the best in the nation.
With Gibson leading this defensive group, anything is possible.