The Sky is the Limit for West Virginia Football CB Jacolby Spells
No matter how much the WVU defense focuses on fundamentals, there’s something else the Mountaineers need to happen in 2023 – the most experienced players need to take their game to another level. Cornerback Jacolby Spells is one of those players coaches believe will step up.
Spells, a three-star recruit out of high school, played in nine games during the 2022 season and already has a big play West Virginia football fans may remember for awhile to his credit. However, despite securing the win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg with an interception, co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach ShaDon Brown knows Spells has the talent to be much better than he was throughout his freshman season.
“It’s a lot different coming from high school football coming to playing in power 5 football on an island out there at corner. And I thought last year he had some plays where he flashed and some plays where he didn’t,” said Brown with his honest assessment of Spells’ season. “It’s what I call growing pains. That’s any freshman at any position is going to have growing pains,” he made sure to add to emphasize how young Spells still is in his career.
What Mistakes Did Spells Make?
Brown even went so far as to highlight how mistakes made by cornerbacks are going to be more evident than most other positions. “One guy can make a mistake and all you guys (the media) see it and can write about it and fans and parents can see it, right? But playing a position inside, whether it’s defensive line or linebacker, nobody ever sees that. They don’t see that. So at corner it’s really magnified,” Brown said.
He didn’t go into grave detail on which plays and mistakes Spells made, although they have all likely been brought up in film session and hammered home to the sophomore ever since. Brown did generalize what he’s referring to by saying, “he had some mistakes last year and some of those mistakes were just physically not being ready to compete at that level consistently at that level, doing it over and over and over.”
In 2022, Spells recorded 13 total tackles with nine of them as solo tackles and that game sealing interception against the Hokies as his lone pick. He saw action on 245 overall plays, including a single game high of 64 in the win over Baylor.
Why Will Spells be Better?
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida native is now listed at 5’11” and 183 pounds, and may the extra weight and strength from where he was at this time a year ago may aid him be more prepared for any one-on-one battles with receivers and t stay upright more often. These were also points Brown brought up about what can be an issue for a smaller corner.
WVU fans already think of Spells fondly for helping to keep the Black Diamond Trophy in Morgantown, but there’s the potential to see many more big time plays from him as well. It’s clear his coaches definitely expect more from Spells.