Year Off Doesn't Slow Dervil

Cornerback Guesly Dervil may have taken some extra time to begin his collegiate career, but he certainly has been making up for lost time since he arrived at West Virginia. Dervil, who sat out the 2005 season while he worked to achieve a qualifying test score, was named by Rich Rodriguez as one of the players who may have a chance to play as a true freshman.

"I'm just happy to be here," Dervil told as he prepared for his first major scrimmage as a Mountaineer. "Last year I had to sit out, and right now I'm just trying to control myself. I'm extra hungry."

The control part of Dervil's statement stems from excitement, which he had to contain when he got back onto the field after the year-long sabbatical. Although quiet and reserved in conversation, Dervil is anything but on the practice field, where his physical play has attracted the notice of the coaching staff. And although he's not ready to compete for a starting position just yet, he certainly is in the mix to be one of the four corners in the rotation at some point during the season.

Dervil's smile as he talked about getting back on the field speaks volumes, and serves as a strong counterpoint to the anguish he felt during his year away from football.

"Sitting out was very stressful," the Jacksonville, Fla. native reiterated. "So many of the guys, like Demetrius Morgan at Tennessee and Bryan Evans at Georgia, guys I grew up with, when I was watching them on TV, that motivated me. I know if I didn't take care of my business I wouldn't be here, so I was motivated to work."

Work was just what the Edward H. With high school product did, both on and off the field. In addition to studying and preparing for his SAT retakes (which he achieved a qualifying score on before committing to WVU), he also worked on the physical side of things.

"I went to a speed camp almost every day, and I worked on that a lot. But Mike (Barwis), he his a whole different level," he said with a laugh of WVU's intense strength and conditioning coach. I wouldn't even compare it. It helped me out a lot to do the speed camp, but Mike gets you motivated. Mike gets you ready."

Dervil's older brother, Guerlin, a six-foot, three-inch 230-pound linebacker at North Carolina State, also helped Guesly a great deal during the off year. "He helped me out a lot with the process of getting ready for college, and for studying, too. He helped me a lot over the phone, and he was there for me."

Dervil, who is working at the field cornerback position, has drawn praise from head coach Rich Rodriguez as the most ready of the newcomers in the secondary. Dervil takes such praise matter-of-factly.

"If that's the situation, then that's what it's going to be," he said. "I'm just working hard, I'm ready to help my team wherever they need me. I think my coverage skills and my physical play are things that have helped me here at cornerback. One other thing is my ability to learn. I learn things really fast."

That ability will certainly come into play for WVU, which is looking to solidfy its depth chart in the secondary. Should Dervil be able to assimilate West Virginia's schemes quickly enough, it looks as if he will have a good chance to avoid a second year of inactivity in 2006.

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