WHAT TO LIKE
With his father, West Virginia offensive assistant Joe Wickline, possessing teaching chops among the best in the nation, it's no surprise that Kelby Wickline shows up well in the technical aspects of the game. Those stand out from the start of his video, where he shows almost exaggerated foot stomps as he drops into pass protection. He's also good with his hands, and keeps foes away from him when they attempt to close and negate his reach and frame. He routinely redirects pass rushers and throws them off balance while keeping his own base solid underneath.
Wickline has developed greatly during his year at Jones County Junior College, and while that put WVU into a big battle for his services, it also helped him become a much better lineman than he likely would have been had he been forced to sit out a year at WVU. While he would have benefitted from West Virginia coaching, he would have spent this season on the scout team, so getting to play was probalby of greater benefit. Will that experience put him in a position to challenge for playing time next year? That's still the question to be answered, but he will be on campus in the spring and will have three years of eligibility remaining, so he is well-positioned to mount a push for playing time.
Being coached by a parent can be both a blessing and a curse. There's no way to tell how this will actually play out in this case, but it's certainly something to keep an eye on. Each case of parent/child coaching will have different dymamics, so there is no way to predict how it will come out. WVU does have a bit of currency in the family dynamic, in the form running backs coach Ja'Juan Seider and his brother Jah'Shaun, but there's not a direct coaching relationship in that instance.
Clearly, this is a factor that Kelby took into consideration, and it could have also played a part in his previous verbal to North Carolina. However, he and his father have taken this plunge, and will have a plan as to how to keep coaching and familiy issues separate.
Wickline has bounced around a good bit. After graduating from Stillwater High School in Oklahoma, he was grayshirting at UTSA in the fall of 2014 before enrolling and taking some classes there in the spring of 2015. He took a redshirt year, then was at WVU briefly before getting the chance to play at Jones County this fall. That leaves him with three playing years, which is obviously good, but it's now a matter of settling in to the grind and getting it done in Division I. If he has any of the personality traits shown by his father, that shouldn't be a problem.
Wickline was quick to earn notice in one of the toughest junior college leagues in the nation. He earned All-Region 23 and All-MACJC honors following the season, and showed great potential as an edge protector in the passing game. He also helps shore up a WVU recruiting class that was light on offensive lineman, and could be ready to provide at least a bit of help in 2017. He'll have to earn that -- there's no way his father is going to play favorites -- but with four offensive linemen departing via graduation, he has the opportunity to make an early mark.
Wickline is rated as the #84 juco prospect in the nation by Scout.com, and the #11 offensive tackle nationally in the juco ranks.