West Virginia freshmen Wyatt Milum, Kaden Prather and Justin Johnson have settled in Morgantown for the past few months as they prepare to start their colligate careers.
What do all three have in common with each other?
All three will receive a good chunk of playing time as freshmen, according to head coach Neal Brown.
“Offensively, Wyatt Milum, he’s going to play. Kaden Prather, he’s going to play. Justin Johnson is going to have opportunities to play and those are at all positions where true freshmen are going to be—I wouldn’t say pressed—but they have an opportunity and we have a need,” Brown said on Tuesday.
How much playing time will these newcomers truly get though?
Milum is an offensive tackle from Kenova, West Virginia—who is the sixth all-time highest recruit in program history. After an impressive summer, Milum has put himself in a position like lineman teammate Zach Frazier did last season. A freshman making some noise in the position competitions in the month of August.
Milum is currently competing for the right tackle starting job against Parker Moorer. Regardless of if Milum wins the job or not, the 6-foot-6, 291-pound freshman, will get in-game reps during his first season.
“The thing I love about Wyatt is that he plays with a motor. He plays hard and is extremely athletic,” Brown said. “He stays in good football position all the time.”
Coming out of high school, Prather was listed as a four-star recruit coming out of Montgomery Village, Maryland. Prather came to West Virginia in January to get settled in and he was able to showcase his skills to the fans during the spring game back in April.
Prather had three receptions for 62 yards, with one deep pass from Garrett Greene that resulted in a 51-yard gain. Prather’s speed and size really give him an advantage over his defenders. The 6-foot-4 receiver is understanding of how to use his size to get the extra step over his opponent.
Offensive coordinator Gerad Parker thinks that Prather coming in January really will benefit him in his freshman season.
“You would take a Kaden Prather that was here in January and [he] got to train with Mike Joseph and the strength staff, got to be around us and literally learn the offense in a real meeting room setting and not via zoom,” Parker said. “I think that’s a big difference in a lot of ways.”
Johnson is another player that Brown mentioned to have a huge opportunity coming up in 2021. If you look at the depth chart at running back, the loss of Alec Sinkfield to the transfer portal really opens another spot for guys like Tony Mathis, A’Varius Sparrow and Johnson to step up when they are called onto the field.
Johnson—an Illinois native—has been praised by the coaching staff ever since he arrived on campus. The 5-foot-11 running back will be able to make an impact on the field the season, according to Brown. Running backs coach Chad Scott explained that Johnson will have a role for this team, and it may not always be running the ball.
“It’s been really pleasing to see that kid. First of all, pass protection is the toughest responsibility for a young running back,” Scott said. “The recognition of it and then secondly, the actual physical part when you’re picking up bigger guys that you’ve never picked up in your life. He’s doing a phenomenal job of doing both of them.”
As summer camp ends and the games inch closer and closer by the day, keep an eye on Milum, Prather and Johnson to make immediate impact for the Mountaineers in 2021.
(Top Photo: Duncan Slade)