Daejuan Funderburk indicated his affinity for WVU early in the recruiting process, but a summer commitment to Temple appeared to have him out of the running for an eventual spot on the West Virginia roster. After opening his recruitment back up and visiting a number of schools, the Mountaineers moved back up his list, and grabbed the top spot as the final months of the recruiting season wound down.
As his visit date approached, Funderburk dropped a few hints about his ultimate decision, making his trip to West Virginia and verbal commitment just a formality.
WHAT TO LIKE:
Funderburk has good size, and packs nearly 190 pounds on his frame. He uses every bit of that weight to good use.
Against the run, he closes quickly and picks the most direct route to get to to the ball. He can filter past blockers, but has the ability to shed a hit and force plays into help. Those strengths also show up in his coverage skills, where he makes good breaks on the ball and can cause drops and incompletions with well timed hits.
He's at his best moving forward, when he makes his decision quickly and gets into the play. As a free or strong safety, he has the quickness to cover the field to help against the pass, and he isn't afraid to stick his face into the fan against the run. His tackling and aggressive play will be big positives in a league that demands not only good pass coverage, but getting receivers on the ground quickly when they do make catches.
POSSIBLE CONCERNS: Funderburk probably isn't a classic man-to-=man defender, although he does have the ability to stay with receivers in that coverage set.
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For any defensive back moving into the Big 12, the ability to forget bad plays and move on to the next one is paramount. Funderburk didn't have many of those during his high school career, but he, like all of his classmates, will have to learn that lesson quickly. That's often a trait that separates players quickly in college, and his adjustment to that fact will be a big key in his early progress.
With additional skills, such as a demonstrated ability on kickoff and punt coverage teams, Funderburk could avoid a redshirt. That's always a challenge for any incoming player, no matter how highly rated, but his talents fit in areas where the Mountaineers need immediate help.
Funderburk's strengths against the run also open up the possibility of a move down to the spur position as he gains size and strength. From there, he could be excellent in pass coverage, but also bring to bear his abilities against the run -- and perhaps even bolster the pass rush. Such a move wouldn't be immediate, but the potential there makes him an even more intriguing pickup.