WHAT TO LIKE:
First and foremost, Rasul Douglas has size. Lots of it. Checking in at six feet, three inches and 205 pounds, the Nassau Community College product won't be overmatched by big outside receivers. Throwing the ball up in one-on-one situations to bigger wideouts is an accepted practice in today's game, as towering passcatchers hold obvious physical advantages over their smaller opponents. That shouldn't be a problem for Douglas, who prides himself on his ability to contend with receivers right from the snap.
Douglas is comfortable in press coverage, where his initial jam can often throw receivers off their initial routes. With timing such a big factor in today's passing offenses, even getting a small delay in a receiver's release can be a big deal. He also shows good recovery skills, and can close down gaps and react to the ball quickly when it's thrown. And, as with many of West Virginia's juco targets, he does have a chance to graduate in December and be a part of spring practice in 2015. That's almost a "must" in terms of getting on the field in the fall.
As with any junior college or lower level player moving up, there are questions about competing at a higher level. Of course, that's the case for every high school player, but those athletes come with a full five year window of availability. Jucos usually have no better than three, so the pressure is on to perform quickly. The speed with which Douglas is able to react to his new surroundings, and the vastly improved competition, will tell the tale of his first year at West Virginia.
That adjustment will also have to occur mentally as well as physically. Douglas was all over the field at Nassau, but at West Virginia he'll have to make reads and react quickly, and adjust on the fly to the wide open attacks in the Big 12.
Douglas, who didn't take a redshirt year in junior college and thus has three years left to complete his final two seasons of eligibility, has a solid juco career behind him. The experience he gained during his career -- including spearheading Nassau's perfect 10-0 record this year -- will be invaluable as he attempts to help bolster West Virginia's secondary in 2015. He showed his versatility this year by leading Nassau in tackles with 54 (7.5 for loss) while also recording two interceptions, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.
Douglas figures to have the chance to help WVU early, as the Mountaineers have some holes to fill. The transfer of Brandon Napoleon and the expiring eligibility of Ishmael Banks and Cullen Christian opens the door for playing time, and while he'll have to beat out some players already in the program, he'll certainly get every chance to do so. Corners of this size simply don't come along very often.