Texas Christian University Horned Frogs @ West Virginia University Mountaineers
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, West Virginia
Score: Texas Christian (10), West Virginia (34)
Notable Prospects Entering the Contest
Kenny Hill, QB, RS Junior, #7: Hill struggled throughout the course of the contest to play with timing. His best stretch of the game was the 2nd Quarter, where he consistently was able to find creases in the West Virginia secondary. But too frequently Hill would get the offense off schedule by bailing in the pocket when faced with pressure; he gave up too many yards retreating from the top of his drop. It took away zip on his throws and on a few occasions resulted in sacks. Hill’s ball placement was shoddy throughout as well, missing some easy attempts on uncontested out patterns or stops. This was an overall poor performance (as 10 points would suggest) and was eye opening in just how many missed plays Hill left on the field and how frequently he would tip his targets in his drops due to his eyes. At this point I would not consider him a 2017 prospect.
Josh Carraway, OLB, Senior, #94: Carraway came on strong in the second half, he did a nice job pressuring from the pocket against WVU OT Adam Pankey. Pankey did not have the foot speed to hang with Carraway, who was let off the leash with a handful of free rushes and did very well to dip the shoulder and turn the corner. He tallied a number of QB hits and did well at the point of contact. That said, Carraway in the run game left something to be desired. Lacking in strength and pop in his hands, Carraway struggles to disengage and peel off of blockers. Carraway’s projection is a bit murky, I thought initially this summer that he might be a better fit off the ball but now having watched his speed rush ability I may be leaning towards him as a potential speed rush specialist.
West Virginia Offense
Rushel Shell III, RB, RS Senior, #4: Shell played this game as a man possessed. He tallied over 100 rushing yards for the second consecutive week and did it with authority. Shell was committed to running down hill and squaring his pads to the LOS. When he was able to get square: TCU’s smaller defensive front seven regularly slid off at first contact and failed to get wrap up attempts around his legs. Shell showed strong leg drive and stepped out of traffic at his feet on a number of occasions; it was probably the best effort of his career at West Virginia. Shell still has his limitations: he doesn’t have a great second gear and his lateral agility should only be categorized as “adequate”. But he is an absolute hammer when he’s committed and needs to play the rest of the year with the same mentality.
Sheldon Gibson, WR, Junior, #1: Gibson had a relatively quiet game, in spite of an early 22 yard touchdown reception that showcased his soft hands and sudden break ability on a stacked route concept. After the initial reception and touchdown the Horned Frogs were committed to not allowing Gibson be the player to beat them; he regularly attracted the attention of multiple receivers. Teammate Daikel Shorts (#6) saw a high number of targets as a result: showing strong hands and some nifty RAC efforts as well. Gibson is still easily the best receiver of the bunch, he’s got strong vertical ability and I would expect him to get unhinged sooner rather than later. One area of potential improvement for Gibson would be working back to the LOS on extended plays; he can get more involved by providing his QB with a target.
Adam Pankey, LT, RS Senior, #57: Pankey does not look to have a perimeter pass protector. He lacks suddenness or foot mobility to sustain the integrity of the pocket. Josh Carraway had his way with Pankey on a number of occasions; he threw strong hands at the initial point of contact but he fails to be aligned in a sustainable or favorable position. Pankey is at his best, as you might expect, when moving forward in the run game. A move to the interior is going to be the best option for extending Pankey’s career at the next level.
Tyler Orlosky, C, Senior, #65: Orlosky continues to impress me with his consistency at the point of attack. He regularly walls off interior defenders and climbs the second level well. Orlosky’s mold will lend itself only to a position at Center; I don’t believe he has the functional strength or frame to be a flexible position player and therefore I would expect he will get knocked in his evaluations for such. Yet he is mentally sharp, takes clean angles and works his body into an appropriate position to leverage his blocks. Because of those skills, this is a potential NFL starter at the C position and should be expected to be targeted sometime on Day 3.
West Virginia Defense
Antonio Crawford, CB, RS Senior, #1: Crawford, a transfer from Miami FL, flashed on the field. Crawford showed excellent physicality when stepping up to fill at the catch point or squaring up ball carriers in the flats. Crawford’s best trait was his route recognition, however. His ability to overlap zones and contest multiple receivers in the areas while eyeing the QB was a treat to watch, especially live in person. Crawford is not a player I had a notably high priority on seeing but it did not take long for him to command my attention. He will have big tests in November when the Mountaineers face off against both Oklahoma and Baylor. I’m looking forward to seeing if he can rise to the challenge.
Noble Nwachukwu, DL, Senior, #97: Nwachukwu continues to be a challenging study. He’s regularly played out of position in the WVU 3-3-5 Defense; where he had an up and down affair. Lighter and more nimble than his opposition, he was able to create havoc on a number of plays. Finishing them, on the other hand, proved to be a more difficult proposition. Nwachukwu did tally a sack of Kenny Hill, which was nearly a safety thanks to Hill conceding extra ground. But Nwachukwu doesn’t show ideal levels of lateral mobility or short area change of direction skills, on a number of plays he became uncovered in the backfield but could not redirect and finish the play. Perhaps a role as a 5-tech defender will suit him best.
Jeremy Tyler, FS, Senior, #2: Tyler had a quiet but solid rebound effort after a disasterous effort against the Red Raiders the week prior. Tyler was moved around the defensive set, being utilized in the single high position but also playing man coverage in the slot. Tyler’s best play was probably an off coverage rep in man coverage; although he conceded the catch he showed a strong angle to the ball, wrapped immediately and held his receiver from converting a new set of downs. Tyler is a physical tackler who needs to clean up his lapses in vertical coverage; this was a nice start.
Best Players on the Field:
Rushel Shell, RB; Antonio Crawford, CB
Kenny Hill, QB