MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With summer workouts in full-sweat and the start of West Virginia preseason camp less than a month away, MetroNews continues counting down our Top 10 Most Pivotal Players for the 2014 season. Today we highlight a budding star in the secondary:

Position: Cornerback
Class: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-1, 200

While encouraging signs were scarce for West Virginia’s 106th-ranked pass defense last season, the raves poured in for Worley. The most physically mature member of the freshman class played safety and nickel back before settling at corner, the spot he’ll occupy full-time in 2014.

Through 11 games and five starts, Worley tied for the seventh on the squad with 45 tackles and ranked second with five pass breakups. His first-half interception at Baylor was the only pick Bryce Petty through during the season’s first 10 games. (During the one game Worley sat out with a shin injury, West Virginia allowed Kansas State to complete 18-of-21 passes.)

Worley has clicked with cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell since his senior year at William Penn Charter in Philadelphia, when the assistant came to watch him run the 100-meter hurdles and re-solidified the scholarship offer initially extended by Jake Spavital. Another boon to their teacher-pupil relationship: Mitchell has transitioned his corners from the shuffle method to a backpedal technique Worley played in high school.

Continued development from Worley is crucial in allowing West Virginia to play more man coverage. And with Big 12 quarterbacking projected to be more settled in 2014, playing pass defense isn’t going to get any easier.

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  • Btanzey

    Since you fans are discussing stats, here are some:
    West Virginia and MU played 12 times.
    All time record: West Virginia U 12 MU 0
    Total points scored: West Virginia - 530 MU-163
    Average score: West. Virginia U - 44 MU - 14
    Expectation that this series will ever renew: 0

    • juice

      Enough said.

    • Sam

      We don't need to hear about Marshall (let them worry about us, not the other way around.) And they will once we beat 'BAMA & win the BIGXII this year - which we will, MARK IT DOWN!!!

      Going to be an epic season this year!

      • rock solid

        Hey Sam: You have slipped so far from reality you should be institutionalized. You should be in the legislature because you are dumb as a stump. We couldn't beat Alabama if they only played their third stringers for the second half and didn't even come on the field until halftime. Left undefended for the first half we probably couldn't score more than 14 points by halftime.

  • uncle phil

    One more player remaining on this completely meaningless list. How will I sleep tonight?

    • Hailey

      Phil , we will all hold our breath waiting to hear how you slept...get over yourself little man

  • Jason

    So this means what a 5 win season? Just hope wvu can score at least a field goal against Maryland this year. It was sad hearing from Maryland fans last year how bad wvu was after Marshall beat them.

    • Aaron

      Aren't you comparing apples to oranges Jason given that 13 individuals who started against WVU did not play against Marshall?

      Perhaps had the two played last year, Marshall might have won but perhaps they would have suffered the same fate they did in the previous games. As a WVU fan who watched better WV teams lose to Penn State year in and year out, I know that the best team doesn't always win. I also know comparative scores is not an accurate predictor when two teams face each other.

      • Jason

        Aaron I researched this information about who played for Maryland in both games after the game in Dec because of statements like yours.

        Go to website. Its all there. MD had 4 offensive starters out that started against wvu but didn't start vs the Herd. 3 of the 4 were wide receivers. The 3 that started against the Herd (Jacobs, Etta-Tawo, and King) had better stats then the 3 that started against the eers (Long, Culmer, and Diggs). The other starter was an OL.

        Defensively 9 of the 11 that started against wvu started against the Herd. Defensively the 2 that played against wvu and not the Herd were Bowers and Ferrand. They didn't exactly have a huge day.

        I see 6 starters not 13. And when you look at the stats, the 6 that started against Marshall had better stats then the 6 that played against wvu. You have to research.

        • Steve

 are a Marshall fan. Why are you reading and posting on WVU articles? You're doing a great job of proving my point that Marshall fans are obsessed over WVU athletics. The bottom line is that your favorite team is still 0-12 all time against WVU and most of those games weren't even close. So feel free to continue to brag about beating Maryland, but in no way will that ever translate into Marshall beating WVU. Marshall is stuck in a nonpower five conference and plays a schedule made up of mostly former Division II teams, and there's nothing that you can do to change that.

          • Jake_d


        • Aaron

          Whether the 13 were starters, reserves or a combination doesn't change the fact they were 2 different Maryland teams, nor does comparative scores mean anything. The fact that Marshall beat Maryland who beat WVU mean Marahall would have beaten WVU.

          Using your flawed logic, WVU beat Ok State, who beat Baylor so WVU beats Baykor except they didn't. In fact, WVU got beat by Baylor about as bad as Baylor got beat by OK State.

          As I said, I wish they played annually. I have no doubt that if they played every year, eventually Marshall would win a game. Sadly for far too many Marshall fans, that would instantly become MU's biggest win in their programs history.

          • Aaron

            It's not the same thing. For the average Marshall fan, it would be bigger as most MU fans don't remember that the Herd was coming back from a loss at East Carolina University. About the only thing they know about the crash is what they learned from Matthew McConaughey. Most would remember beating WVU.

          • Geoff

            It would be the biggest win in Marshall's history? Well, you know, there is that one that occurred the game after their entire team & several major boosters were killed in that tragic plane crash. But you know, same thing, I guess...

          • Aaron

            And none of that means jack s**t, nor does it prove anything. Despite out gaining MD in offense WV still got beat badly. It happens. If they play 10 times WV wins at least half of them. If Marshall and MD play 10 times, MD wins half. Does that mean if WV and Marshall plays 10 times, they split? It's all supposition. Let it go man, let it go.

          • Jason

            Aaron you have to ask was Maryland better at the start of the year or the end? Was wvu better at the start or the end? Would wvu beat MD in December if played? Would Marshall beat MD if played earlier in the season? I don't like using the logic if one team beats a team that beats another they would automatically beat that team. BUT sometimes when a team doesn't score a point and loses by 37 or so points people minds wonder. Both games were neutral fields in the state of Maryland.

        • Mitch

          @ Jason,

          Common sense should tell you that if the Maryland receivers that played against Marshall were better than the injured ones they replaced, then they would have been starters all along.....They weren't.
          Maryland's only effective receiver against MU was a freshman.

          • Elliott

            There are a couple other real factors that affect football games to consider. Weather, turnovers, and quarterback play. It rained almost continually throughout the WVU MD game. WVU turned the ball over 4 times deep in their own territory. And most importantly it was the second start for WVUs QB, who didn't play again all season after this game. MUs QB was one of the better ones in college football.

          • Jason

            At Mitch, So your saying that someone who does not start at the start of year has no chance of starting later because they wasn't the best in Aug? I don't follow wvu close but didn't Slayton and White come on late during their freshman year due to injuries or performance.

            Stat wise MD receivers had a better day against MU in a loss than they did against wvu in a win. So your saying those 3 that started against wvu would have made the difference against MU? That is a stretch.

  • richard

    just wish trickett could gain at least 10 pounds and add a little muscle. and don't stand back there and get hit...........get rid of the freakin ball. just throw it away if you have to.

  • richard

    why have a pivotal players list? the whole defense and offense needs to step it up. esp. the whole defense and the offensive line. i'm not too worried about trickett. he will be fine if the offensive line can protect him. and i have no worries at all for the special teams. i think they will be "special" this year. i'm looking for at least an 8-4 record

    • Big Larry

      The offensive line is "OFFENSIVE" and has NOT protected anyone for the past two (2) years and this year will be no exception.

      • Ole Sasquatch

        Due to what appears to have been a successful past, I am willing to give the man who escaped criticism last year - our Offensive Line Coach - Coach Crook another chance; but he is on the hook because we just can't tolerate another devastating performance by our offensive line this year. So he can be the man behind all our successes this year or go down in flames along with Holgorsen based upon the foundation of our team being: the offensive line. I invite my fellow compatroits to join me in the following mantra for this 2014 WVU football season:
        "Don't let Crook off the Hook."
        Come on say it with me:
        "Don't let Crook off the Hook."

        • Mister Man

          That doesn't sound silly. Really, it doesn't.

      • Jim

        Considering CT didn't see any action until game 4 yet still managed to put up over 1600 yards gives the line a pat on the back. Pretty young unit back then, but now just about all of them have some reps. Media just forgets to report it.

        • notorious

          They are reporting that the line has experience because they don't. The projected starter at center got benched after OU and both tackles are first time starters.

          Poor Trickett won't make it through the Bama game in one piece.

          • Mister Man

            "They are reporting that the line has experience because they don't." That makes a lot of sense!

  • FNP

    If the O-Line does there job this year then this team will make great strides. I'd like to see Trickett throw the ball around 30 times a game. If he could go 22 of 30 for around 260 every game then thats pretty darn good. The running game will keep defenses guessing this year.

  • Aaron

    While I am sure this young man has earned his ranking meaning Clint Trickett will be number one on this list, I would bump everybody down one spot and say the most pivotal performance for the upcoming season belongs to Dana Holgorsen.

    I realize he is not a player but is decisions are what put players in the position to succeed or fail. Clint Trickett is the perfect example. If managed properly with a strong running game and quick throws downfield, he will be highly successful. If he is expected to win every game by throwing 5o to 60 times a game down field, it will be a long season.

    • The bookman


      With so much required of young and inexperienced talent, the coaching staff must deliver stellar performances. I look forward to seeing if THEY have improved.

    • Jim

      Throwng 50 or 60 times is what the Air Raid is all about! But you're right...we can exploit defenses by spreading them out with a great group of RBs who can also catch and run. CT won't have to dodge as much since now he's had plenty of time to learn the plays and signals.

    • mad hatter

      bull pin, i like your posts, i concur

    • DWM

      I'd say Trickett holding onto the football had more to do with his lack of knowledge of the offense, and possibly the receivers lack of knowledge than it did Dana's scheme.

      I think Trickett will make the offense hum again. Trickett needs to understand that he isn't 6'5" ad 240 lbs. He needs to get rid of the ball when it is not there, his health and ability to make it through 13 games (yes, we are going to a bowl game) is more important than one play.

      • Aaron

        It's not so much the scheme that worries me is it is how Hogerson calls the games. How many times last year did Holgerson mismanage the game by calling the quick pass plays that put the defense right back on the field? He does not do a very good job of adjusting and at times they seem lost on both sides of the ball. All of that falls on the head coach and his improvement in managing the game is pivotal to WVU's success this year.

      • Ole Sasquatch

        Yes, new players lack of knowledge of the system including experience is a legitimate excuse. However, Holgorsen & Co. cannot realistically keep using this excuse and expect the fan base to be satisfied. His management & organizational skills including his staff are being observed and if he and his crew plan on using this excuse for a bad season this year - let's just say right now - that is not going to fly.

        • Mister Man

          It's going to fly. I'm satisfied with it.

  • any major dude

    You gotta love a true sophomore with talent, experience, and size. Barring injury, Worley should be an outstanding member of an improved defense.

  • Markd95

    Looking for a big year from Daryl and I am sure he will deliver. Also think the defense this year will show the Big 12 that WVU has pride and knows how to hit. Look for the WVU defense to be in the top 4 of the Big 12 if not National ranking in areas.
    Also Allan love your articles. Tired of reading the biased articles from ESPTexas, Fat Olson and Jake.

    • boober

      wouldn't it be nice to be the surprise team this year huh?

    • Jim

      Spot on Markd95! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Mister Man