Scouting the Big East: West Virginia

The Mountaineers could well be on there way to a BCS-Bowl game this January as the team is loaded with talent while the conference is struggling. Several WVU prospects are being closely watched in scouting circles including a few prominent juniors.

Running back Kay-Jay Harris is a prototypical West Virginia ball carrier; strong, stout and very productive.   Harris proved his meddle as a tough interior running back with excellent power and the abilities to pick up  yardage off initial contact last year when he backed up Quincy Wilson.  Harris also possesses outstanding vision, alertness and competitiveness, which nicely compliments his power.  He is best between tackle and though not a bad pass-catcher, is not a threat as a receiver out of the backfield.  If he proves capable handling the load this season then runs well prior to next April's draft, Harris could move into the top two rounds.  Another efficient and reliable skill player is receiver Chris Henry.  Only a junior, Henry consistently displays top pass catching hands, a sense of timing as well as the penchant to make big plays.  Henry always gets separation from defenders and constantly makes himself an available target for the quarterback.    He has a tall, slender build and at the same time does not beat defenders down the field.  While he  needs to physically mature, Henry will be a solid prospect when he enters his senior campaign in '05.  Tackle Tim Brown returns for a sixth season after taking a medical redshirt last year.  Like many of his linemates Brown is not a great athlete rather an efficient blocker who plays with great intelligence and uses all his assets to their maximum.  Should he checkout medically, Brown is a solid pick in the late rounds next April.  Another Mountaineer tackle, Mike Watson, is a hard working blocker who plays sound football.  Getting leverage on opponents, Watson is strong at the point of attack and does a solid job in pass protection.  He lacks the top size and growth potential which makes  guard his best NFL-position but is a solid late round pick.  Quarterback Rasheed Marshall is an athletic passer with a big arm and the ability to make plays with his legs.  While Marshall puts zip on all his throws he may be best carrying the football as his defensive reads are mediocre while his long accuracy stinks.  Finally, junior tight end Josh Bailey is solid as both a blocker and pass catcher though he does not stand out in any single aspect.

West Virginia is a good college defense but there are only a few NFL prospects from this side of the ball. Ben Lynch and Jason Hardee are a pair of senior ends on the radar screen while cornerback Adam Jones flashes solid cover skills and offers game breaking return abilities.

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