One of the biggest glaring weaknesses for West Virginia in 2017 was the play from its secondary. There were extremely thin on depth and very inexperienced. The depth issue was only going to be worse heading into 2018 losing Elijah Battle, Mike Daniels, Kyzir White and Marvin Gross to graduation. So let’s see what the Mountaineers have done so far during the early signing period.
Safety Kwantel Raines (Aliquippa, Pa.)– Raines (6’3″ 200 lbs) was the crown jewel of this class and rightfully so. Credit Tony Gibson for plucking Raines right out of Pitt’s backyard. Raines is considered the highest rated recruit for the Mountaineers on multiple recruiting databasess. He chose West Virginia over Pittsburgh and Penn State among a few others.
My analysis- Raines is a really big get for West Virginia. Getting Raines can help sure up some of the question marks of the secondary in 2018. He flocks to the ball and is the class’ hardest hitter. He will be an enforcer and will create many turnovers in his tenure in Morgantown. I’m going bold here and will say that Raines will start game one in place of the NFL bound Kyzir White at spur.
Safety Joshua Norwood (Valdosta, Ga.)– Norwood (5’10” 175 lbs) spent two seasons at Ohio State before announcing that he would be transferring to Northwest Mississippi Community College.
My analysis- I feel that Norwood should move to corner, consider the lack of depth at the position. No matter where he ends up in this defense he will be a baller. Don’t be shocked to see him starting week one vs Tennessee or at least seeing the field a lot. He is a sure tackler and could help solve this missed open field tackling issues.
Corner back Keith Washington (Wesson, MS)– Washington (6’2″ 170 lbs) is also a former Big 10 player via Michigan. Washington spent one year in Ann Arbor before transferring to Copiah-Lincoln CC.
My analysis- Washington is a very long and lanky corner. Something this secondary did not have this year, which clearly stood out. He has a similar frame to that of Rasul Douglas and Daryl Worley, so the comparisons will draw. I expect Washington to be named a starter to open the season and be a lock down corner for corners coach Doug Belk.