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West Virginia Football 2016 Player Previews: Jovon Durante

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The freshman sensation started his college career with a touchdown catch before hitting the proverbial freshman wall. Will he bounce back to be the top receiver for the Mountaineers?

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

2015 Season Stats & Review

Receptions Yards Touchdowns Yards per Catch Kick Returns Kick Return Yards Kick Return Touchdowns
24 378 5 15.8 14 316 0

The expectations for Durante began the second he stepped onto Mountaineer Field. Getting to West Virginia three days late into fall camp, he was forced to wear a green jersey as he sat out the mandatory three days prior to physical contact. During those three days, players and coaches raved about Durante's speed and fluid ability to jump, catch and change direction.

Jovon exhibited those qualities once he stepped onto the field for the Mountaineers. On the first series of the first game, he streak downfield, leaped into the air, twisted his body, got one foot down in the endzone and scored the first touchdown of the season.

As the season wore on, Durante experienced what nearly every freshman experiences. The freshman wall. He struggled with routes, with fighting through press-man coverage and drops. There were several games where Durante got open for what would have been long gains or touchdowns but just dropped the ball. He eventually found himself academically ineligible for the bowl game.

2016 Outlook

Jovon Durante is one of the highest rated players to ever come to West Virginia. The amount of talent the young man possesses is extraordinary. Within the Air Raid system that Dana Holgorsen runs, Durante can absolutely challenge and break previous receiving records at WVU.

Jovon struggled with academics and was ruled ineligible for the bowl game. Then he was ruled ineligible by Dana Holgorsen in the spring for "violation of team rules". This does at least give some concern to his mentality. If Jovon is able to mature and overcome these situations, 2016 could see him start to begin the rise to record-breaking receiver.

Still a young and wiry receiver, Jovon has the frame to add muscle and truly compete with the best receivers in the Big 12. The coaches won't give him a starting position but they will give him the opportunity to win it through competition. With the right mentality, the Big 12 should be on notice.

Projected 2016 Stats

Receptions Yards Touchdowns Yards per Catch Kick Returns Kick Return Yards Kick Return Touchdowns
65 1000 8 15.3 22 500 1