Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Aliquippa (Pa.) High School’s Dravon Henry committed to West Virginia over Pittsburgh, Miami, Maryland and Louisville.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia re-hired safeties coach Tony Gibson last February in large part because of his recruiting productivity, and that proved to be the case Monday with the commitment of four-star defensive back Dravon Henry.

Ranked as the No. 149 prospect nationally by Rivals and the No. 3 prospect in Pennsylvania, Henry chose West Virginia over Pitt during a ceremony at the Aliquippa Municipal Center.

“This is a gigantic coup for safeties coach Tony Gibson,” said Rivals senior writer Keenan Cummings of WVSports.com. “Not only did he get an instant-impact defensive back with a rare combination of size and speed, but he did it out of Pitt’s backyard, at a school that has long produced future Panthers.”

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Henry was a standout tailback at Aliquippa, rushing for more than 5,000 yards in his high school career, but was being pursued by elite college programs for his work as a defensive back. He also listed Miami, Maryland and Louisville among his finalists and holds around 30 FBS offers from schools such as Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and Michigan.

“I feel like everything is off my shoulders now—I can just go back to my normal life,” Henry told Rivals after his announcement. “It feels great (to be a Mountaineer.) Just trying to turn the program around and get ready for the upcoming season. We open up with Alabama, and I can’t wait.”

Henry led Aliquippa to a 12-1 season, his team’s lone loss coming in the WPIAL championship game to South Fayette, which plays for the Class AA state title on Saturday.

“Henry will be given every opportunity to make an early impact in college and has the skills to do just that,” Cummings said. “He’s a huge pickup for WVU.”

West Virginia loses senior safety Darwin Cook from this year’s team, and sophomore K.J. Dillon could face lingering effects from a dehydration issue related to diabetes. During the regular-season finale against Iowa State, the Mountaineers used redshirt freshman Jarrod Harper and true freshman Jeremy Tyler as the backups at safety.

Henry, ranked by Rivals as the No. 14 safety in his class, becomes West Virginia’s 17th commitment for 2014 and its second in two days, following a pledge from junior college quarterback Skylar Howard on Sunday.

West Virginia and Gibson are hoping for more good news out of Aliquippa on Wednesday when Henry’s high school teammate Jaleel Fields, a two-star defensive lineman, chooses between the Mountaineers, Purdue and Cincinnati.

WVU has two defensive backs committed for 2014—junior college cornerback Jaylon Myers pledged in July—along with three linebackers and one defensive end. The positional breakdown on offense includes six linemen, three receivers and two quarterbacks.

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Comments

  • 1olewvufan

    WVU Freshman QB Gregory McPherson, a left-handed passer, that is 6'2", 220 lbs could be the outlier or wildcard in the QB battle. He was the starting QB at Princeton HS, Princeton, WV his sophmore and junior years, and sat out his senior year with a broken hand.

    I watched a lengthy video of his junior year, and he has a big arm. In the video he drops a long pass over a receiver's shoulder in the endzone and the receiver was covered. He also moved well in the pocket, extended plays and was hitting his receivers while running left and right. He also had a nice touch on the ball on shorter passes, and he ran the ball well on broken plays. Now how well he can adapt to Holgorsn's offense is another question.

    The question is: Is he good enough to be part of the QB equasion at WVU?

    • shawn

      I will say one thing....these are the kinds of kids who come out and flourish under Holgorsens system though. He's taken alot of kids who were nobodys and turned them into big time QB's.

    • Hesa Duffus

      Hello 1oleWVUfan

      Excuse me for asking but are you this McPherson kids dad or grandpa!!! enough with this shameless promotion of a kid who sat out his senior season.

      Please understand, A walk on WILL NOT start at quarterback for West Virginia against Big 12 competition. It is almost impossible for any true freshman on scholarship to start at quarterback these days let alone a walk on that has missd a season. So please, grampa, give it a rest.

      If the kid makes the team scout team and works on his game real hard he MAY see some game action before he leaves WVU but victories against West Virginia high school teams is not quite the same as playing against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas , Baylor and so on......

      I know you love this kid with all your heart but PLEASE stop the "High School legend" talk ok

      Thank You

      • squad

        now please, we all know that......

      • Troll

        Easy now, remember he did watch the kid make one good throw!

  • stevewvu

    Great news! He will have a great opportunity to play right away.

    Nice job by Coach Gibson!

  • Troll

    Recruiting appears to be going good, keep up the hard work and hopefully finish strong. Good job coaches!

  • vance jones

    welcome home dravon, can't wait to see you playing at mountaineer field

  • Habib Haddad

    Gibby pays immediate dividends.

  • WVU FAN

    Way to go Tony and welcome aboard Dravon Henry....

    Let's Goooooooo!!Mountaineeeeeers!!!!

  • mark

    Great job, Gibson! Hope we can keep him.

  • 1olewvufan

    I really like the last 2-Commits to WVU, and here is why:

    WVU needs quality QBs very badly, and athletic DBs. These two recruits up the antie. As a DB Henry will play in 2014. I look for Henry to play CB and as a Returner on Special Teams. Being a 'Ball-Hawk' his services are badly needed at WVU. If you are a DB at WVU and you want to see the field in 2014, you had better pick up your game, else this young talent will replace you as the Starter.

    Quarterback wise: Millard and Childress are done. I look for Trickett to be the Starter in 2014 with Howard as the Back-up, and behind Howard will be Crest. However, there could be a 'wildcard' in this. The 'wildcard' is Gregory McPherson, a 6'2", 220 lb freshman, from Princeton, WV. McPherson is a 'wildcard' because there is nothing on him, other than he was a QB in high school. What I'd like to know is: What does this kid look like in practice? Is he mobile? Can he throw the deep route? Is he accurate? How good is he at reading defenses? What intangibles does he have? Does he have what it takes to compete for the Starting QB position? Has he or is planning on attending QB camps this coming summer? I know this kid is tough for he had to be tough to go against the Bluefield, Princeton's big rival.

    • shawn

      If there's that many question marks then we definitely dont need him.

    • Doug

      I don't think Trickett will start. From what I saw this season his accuracy at times is way off. I think William Crest will start. I have seen film on this kid and he is a great duel threat. Plus he is a big kid.

      • WVU4EVER

        Crest will have the same problem Trickett had. he did not arrive until August and couldn't learn all the hand signals and play changes. So I agree that it will be Trickett 100% .

        • Protechcpa

          Agreed on Trickett as a starter next year. Consider that he won the Ok St game at a time when he still did not have the signals straight and went mostly off he own instincts. As a matter of fact, did anyone notice that the better the communication became, enabling Holgorsen to get HIS plays in, the worse we played? Maybe next year they should let Clint call his own plays.

        • Doug

          Tricketts problem wasn't the signals it was accuracy. Of course with that said, maybe he will be able to get the timing down this spring. Peyton Manning couldn't throw behind that Oline.

    • Aaron

      I hardly think playing 1 game a year against an average AA West Virginia school qualifies anyone to be Division 1 Starting quarterback.

    • Rtdeco

      Lmao.....bluefield is the standard for playing b12 football....who knew??......hey, slappy, keep your day job but keep the missives coming... I was laughing so hard I had to take a knee. .

    • WVFAN

      Must of had monster game against power house Pikeview

    • Grant

      Why is everyone writing Childress off so soon? Kid has been hurt.

      • Dougie

        Did you watch him play before he got hurt?

        • Doug

          Yes. Most of his passes were behind or too far in front of the receiver. I understand he lived in Morgantown. From the games I have seen (Even his few games he started at Florida State,) I don't think he is a starter. Do you really think Trickett could play in the NFL? Because that's what it will take to be a QB in the Big 12. The teams that are good in the Big 12 have a QB that could play in the NFL.

    • Hesa Duffus

      Grandpa

      PLEASE STOP with all this "Gonna make em forget Pat White talk"

      If he was a REAL prospect he would have at least been offered a scholarship by some bottom feeders university, hell he would have a better change to actually see the field playing for those pesky West Virginia State YellowJackets.

    • Get real

      Came across this and could not resist. This kid won't even make it to be the holder in practice.

  • pghmountaineer

    I watched this kid play 3 times this year. He's the real deal.

  • 4WVUinKY

    Very positive news. Keep up the recruiting and we can turn this thing around in short order. Go eers!

  • LH

    Fantastic!! Mountaineer fans need some good news right now.

  • Steve

    Big time recruiting pickup! Now we have a 4 star commitment on both offense and defense. Great job of recruiting by the coaching staff!

  • GoEers

    Very Nice!!

    Great day to be a Mountaineer!!!

  • shawn

    And i guarantee this was a special teams pick up as well. This kid is super fast.

  • shawn

    Great pickup for the team. Kudos Gibby