MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–As a freshman and sophomore, Dravon Askew-Henry turned heads on the football field for West Virginia. The NFL scouts were buzzing but in 2016, he suffered a season-ending knee injury during preseason camp.
When the safety returned to the Mountaineers, his junior season didn’t quite go as anticipated.
WVU finished the 2017 season with a 7-6 record and a disappointing loss to Utah in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Over the course of the season, the Mountaineers’ defense struggled and Askew-Henry didn’t look like the star of previous years. He finished the campaign with 42 tackles (2.5 tackles for loss), four pass breakups and just one interception.
In 2015, the 6-foot, 202-pound defensive back had 59 tackles, including 47 unassisted, a tackle for loss, an interception and four pass breakups in 13 games. Against Arizona State the Cactus Bowl, he had a team-best seven tackles.
As fall rapidly approaches, Askew-Henry is ready to get back to the rising star he was before his ACL tear.
“After this winter, spring and we’re in summer training right now, I feel as good as I’ve ever felt,” he said.
While the senior was healthy last year, he wasn’t mentally prepared.
“During the season, I’d say it was more of a confidence thing because in football if you ain’t got no confidence, you already lost,” Askew-Henry said. “This offseason, my thing was, I needed to get back to my confidence where I know I’m the best out there and that’s something I really worked on. My confidence is definitely better.”
Now, the Aliquippa, Pa. native is finally feeling like himself again.
“The fact that I had a brace on my knee wasn’t me,” Askew-Henry added. “Just getting out of that and moving and feeling good again. I’m feeling good so I’m ready.”
Spring was the real turning point for the Aliquippa High alum.
“Just going into after this season, as we got into sprinting and squatting and just having to go to work, I started feeling good again,” he said. “You need your confidence out there. That’s the biggest thing. Going into this offseason that’s something I really worked on.”
And he thinks getting back to his old form is what the team needs and will generate attention from the NFL.
“I feel that they just want to see that I’m how I was before I got hurt,” Askew-Henry said. “I was out here flying around, playing with effort, making plays. I feel like that’s what they want to see.”
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS