Following this past weekend’s thrilling win over highly ranked Baylor, Longwood (Fla.) defensive end Adam Shuler committed to the Mountaineers. After receiving only one pledge along with defensive line in their first 19 commitments, West Virginia has since added two more in a row, bolstering much needed depth on the defensive front.
What To Like: A relative unknown to the recruiting world, the West Virginia staff identified what it believes is a diamond in the rough. Shuler, (6-5, 255 lbs.), has a unique combination of strength and speed. On occasion he’ll shoot up the gaps of the interior but he’s more polished when coming around the edge.
Shuler’s motor doesn’t quit and his video is evidence of the fact. Many plays showcase him tracking down the opposition from behind or sideline to sideline to make the tackle. When his technique is polished at the next level to combine with his raw ability the Mountaineers could posses an anchor for their line for years to come.
Possible Concerns: If aggressiveness is ever a bad thing, it would apply here. Shuler works extremely hard to get into the backfield, and sometimes loses vision on where the ball is. He needs to be careful to not overplay the play. A key component to a quality lineman is knowing the play and being able to play your area. If you get lost, you're susceptible to giving up the big play.
A second concern is something many high school athletes face and that’s overall strength. Despite his solid frame he’ll need to replenish his body for the weekly battles within the Big 12 and college football in general. With time to develop that weakness can transition into a strength.Overall Analysis: On the surface this could be viewed as a possible reach for the Mountaineers, but I don’t believe that’s the case. Though Shuler wasn’t highly recognizable on the national level he chose the Mountaineers over additional offers from Indiana, Massachusetts, Purdue and Cincinnati.
The West Virginia staff has been consistent in their efforts to obtain quality defensive lineman and renewed that effort following the de-commitment of Larry Jefferson. The pursuit isn’t over, though. With three defensive linemen currently in the fold for the class of 2015 the Mountaineers could still land Reuben Jones, Tim Settle or fill an immediate need with junior college help.