Verbal View: Tyrhee Pratt

West Virginia snared its third in-state commitment in the football class of 2016 when Tyrhee Pratt pledged to WVU on Sunday. What is the Mountaineer program getting in this all-around athletic talent?

WHAT TO LIKE

Pratt's athleticism is the first thing that hits when watching him play, either in person or on video. He has the ability to make tacklers miss – that indefinable “it” quality that allows him, and special players like him, to avoid contact and gain yardage. As a receiver, where he will likely get a look, that could turn short receptions into long gains. His quick start, stop and reaction times also come into play on defense, where he could be a very good corner or defender. His play in that area was underrated at times during his career, and while he didn't get a ton of snaps there, his ability is evident.

Pratt also showed very good decision skills as a quarterback for Capital High, and protected the ball well. He typically did not force passes into coverage, and was quick to take off and run with the ball when the opportunity presented itself. That knowledge of the game should also stand him well in college, at whatever position he winds up. While he didn't face the most sophisticated of defenses in high school, the offense he ran did put his decision-making to the test, and he passed those with flying colors.


POSSIBLE CONCERNS

Pratt is a slender player, and will clearly have to add strength to compete on the college level. He acknowledged that fact after committing to WVU, but now has to make the commitment to do so in the year he has left before making the trip north to Morgantown. There's no indication he won't – he has shown dedication to improving himself as a player throughout his career, but weight room and conditioning work is the most grinding test an athlete faces on a day-to-day basis. Pratt's body type is probably never going to allow to to add a ton of weight – he has a natural lanky and lean build – but putting on that additional 15-20 pounds will be a must, especially if he winds up on the defensive side of the ball.

The rising senior will also need to continue to work on his knowledge of the game and implement more technique into his play. As a superior high school athlete, there were times when Pratt ran away from defenders or made broken plays work simply because he was faster and quicker. While those skills aren't devalued in college, there will be fewer times when he's able to cover for a mistake by running down an opposing ball carrier or speed away from a tackler that has the angle on him. Again, he shows a good foundation for building on those skills, but that's a process that has to continue apace this fall.


OVERALL ANALYSIS

The collection of yet another in-state product in this class shows that WVU's talk about recruiting the home front isn't just hot air. As reiterated several times by coaches and recruiting staffers, the state's flagship institution will recruit and offer scholarships to players that it believes can help it win in the Big 12, and Pratt is the third such player in this year's class, joining Dylan Tonkery and Reese Donahue. While every recruiting battle is important, getting the players from instate is an area that the Mountaineer program needs to excel in, and it's off to an outstanding start in this recruiting cycle.

Individually, Pratt could play any of a number of positions at West Virginia. That versatility is a big boost to his recruiting profile, and made him even more attractive to WVU's coaches. His progress over the summer and fall will be important, but if he puts the work in and continues to improve, he will be another in a long line of Mountain State players who could have a very productive career.

WVU 2016 Football Verbal Commitments


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