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

  • OKANYDAY

    Nice to get these two quality commitments. Hopefully, the recruiting process will continue to gain with good athletes to our program !

  • 1oleWVUFan

    I think the one big thing that WVU has going for it going into the 2014 Season is that it will have the same coaching staff.

    As many us witnessed this season, OL, QB, and DB play must drastically improve. Hopefully, 2 or 3 of the OL Commits can start in Jan and be ready to play come Aug. The 2-QB and 2-DB recruits will definitely elevate the competition at these positions.

    With Sheldon Gibson most likely earing a Starting Role, and the Commit Rogers starting in Jan, Kevin White will need to step up his game.

    Those Sims will go to the NFL, WVU has Rushel Shell who should step in and take this role.

  • Richard L.

    If I am correct. Tony Gibson was one who's staff? I think that would be Rich Rod. Somebody who can recruit.

  • Big Larry

    This kid sucks!
    WVU sucks!!
    and I suck!!!

    • OKANYDAY

      Well, apparently you told the truth about yourself!

  • The Great Joe Bob

    So we've got their "verbals"; hope they're still in the fold when it comes time to sign.

    • hailey

      Thank you for defining "verbals" I thought it meant he had already signed and no one else can recruit him, darn!

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    Glad to hear we are recruiting well. Looking forward to rebounding like Auburn and Missouri did. LETS GOOOO MOUNTAINEERS

    • Webb

      LOL!!!!!!!

  • Doug

    This is why Holgy has to be given some time. Our depth was seriously lacking. He's making headway if the idiots will leave him alone and let him do his job, WVU will be in great shape/

    • Webb

      Please tell me who has been responsible for recruiting the last 3 years?

    • OKANYDAY

      We hope your close to being right, because it couldn't get much worse !

  • GFS

    Wow, It's nice to have some positive news after a very disappointing season. Great job coach Gibson. Looks like his mother was very excited Dravon picked WVU and you were the reason. I was a little worried at first. I thought he picked UCLA by the color of the WVU cap. LOL, where in the world did they get that thing?

  • SamWvu304

    Welcome to WVU/ EERNATION Dravon. Glad to have you wearing the flying WV. We've had Tavon, and Davon,nows the time for Dravon. Lets Gooooooo!!!!!!

  • pokemonwvu

    it is great to see another top 300 commit to wvu, this recruiting class is sharping up to a really great one, it is going to be interesting to see if henry will play his first year, i am excited to see what the two qbs can do in this offense, and the defense is shaping up to be a good one too

  • Dave

    Recruiting seems to be a plus for our football team. Good job coaches and congratulations to the recruits. Welcome to West Virginia University. I'm sure you all will make great Mountaineers.

  • 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?

    • 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

      • Troll

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

      • squad

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

    • 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.

  • 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