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Why Neal Brown Expects WR Jaden Bray to Be Even Better at WVU

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WVU Football WR Jaden Bray
Ed Thompson / WVSN

In addition to retaining key contributors from 2023, Neal Brown knew he also had to bring in new talent in order to get WVU to the next level. One of the major additions that Brown has high hopes for in 2024 is wide receiver Jaden Bray.

On Wednesday during his Big 12 Media Days press conference, Brown described his mentality in pursuing Bray as a transfer and what he feels he can bring to the table.

“Jaden, he scored a touchdown, as you know, from Stillwater. He scored a touchdown against uslast year. Once he went into the portal, we couldn’t beat him; so we felt like we needed to get him on our team,” Brown explained.

Brown also believes Bray can be even better in the WVU offense and surpass his past production as a Mountaineer.

“But Jaden is really talented, and I thought he was slowed by injuries last year. He had a couple really big games. He’s a tremendous human being, first of all. So he’s beena great addition to our locker room. The type of characterhe has, how he was raised. Those are all real positives. And he’s long. He can jump and he can run. So now, for us, is about getting that production from a week in, week out perspective, but I’m excited to coach him. He’s been a joy since he got there in January, and I think he’s sitting on really not just one but two quality high-production years.”

The addition of Bray will open up new possibilities for the WVU offense. When WVU Brown made it known the Mountaineer were on the hunt for wide receiver help in the portal, there was no telling what options they would find.

Asti: Addition of WR Jaden Bray Serves Multiple Purposes for WVU Offense

West Virginia sent offers to receivers from all over the country from all different levels of football, spanning the power conferences and even Division II. And while many of them have talent and were also coveted by other similar programs to WVU, landing a player like Bray is the best case scenario.

Bray brings experience and knowledge of the Big 12, having competed at Oklahoma State. But on top of his experience, Bray also brings production with him. He made 30 receptions for 382 yards and scored two touchdowns for the Cowboys in 2023.

Bray, who officially completed his transfer to WVU in early January, will now join a Mountaineer offense that is returning wide receivers Traylon Ray and Rodney Gallagher, as well as quarterback Garrett Greene, running back Jahiem White, tight end Kole Taylor and most of its offensive line.

The expectation is that Bray will fit nicely on the outside with Hudson Clement and has the size to handle most one-on-one battles. It might require some work to get all of these receivers involved, but there was a sense of needing to replenish the receiver room some based on the inconsistent play at times during the 2023 season.

Separate from what he offers on the field, Bray will be a veteran the rest of a still youthful group can look upon for guidance. With three years of college football behind him, Bray can fill Devin Carter’s shoes as a leader the others can learn from, both on and off the field. And unlike when Carter moved to Morgantown, Bray has multiple years of eligibility remaining.

Bray even knows what it’s like to play in a Big 12 Championship Game, something he did twice at OSU. A bonus of the Bray move is taking a key player away from a conference foe, making it all that much sweeter for the Mountaineers.

Having someone like Bray around with makes life easier on the coaches, most notably wide receivers coach Bilal Marshall.

The Norman, Oklahoma native committed to WVU six days after being offered and following his visit to West Virgina over the weekend. Fellow Big 12 member Cincinnati also offered Bray. Washington State and USF were in the mx with interest as well.

For a related story, WV Sports Now’s Mike Asti details why WVU views another WR transfer as a significant acquisition as well.

Why WVU Views WR Justin Robinson as Significant Acquisition

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jim

    July 12, 2024 at 7:03 am

    Didn’t EJ Horton Transfer out?

  2. Mike Asti

    July 12, 2024 at 7:59 am

    Yes. That sentence was used from a past story but EJ’s name should’ve been removed. If you search EJ Horton’s name on site, you’ll see our EJ coverage.

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