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2017 West Virginia Mountaineers Position Overview: Safeties

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West Virginia has one of the best safety tandems in the nation and opposing offenses best beware

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

When the Mountaineers lost Dravon Askew-Henry to a knee injury last year, it felt like the season could have ended before it started. Now healthy, the Mountaineers return one of the most dangerous safety tandems in the country.

2016 Exodus

Jeremy Tyler and Jarrod Harper helped filled the void left when Karl Joseph was lost for the season in 2015. They again helped filled the void when Dravon Askew Henry was injured in 2016. Khairi Shariff also filled in and added experienced.

Tyler added 46 tackles and two interceptions to his senior season while Harper had 54 tackles and three tackles for loss. The duo never made a name for themselves for provided tons of stability when the Mountaineers were rocked with injuries.

2017 West Virginia Safeties

Player Year 2016 Stats Height / Weight
Player Year 2016 Stats Height / Weight
Kyzir White Sr 58 tacklees, 7TFL, 5 PD, 2 FF, 1 FR, 3 sacks 6-2 / 216
Marvin Gross R-Sr 24 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 INT 6-3 / 205
Shane Commodore R-Sr 9 tackles, 1 FF, 1 FR 6-0 / 210
Dravon Askew-Henry R-Jr DNP (Injury) 6-0 / 200
Toyous Avery R-Jr 24 tackles, 1 TFL, 3 PD 5-11 / 204
Jovanni Stewart So 2 tackles 5-9 / 197
Deamonte Lindsay R-So no stats 6-2 / 205
Rashon Lusane So no stats 5-11 / 195
Derrick Pitts Fr DNP (High School) 6-1 / 182
Kenny Robinson Fr DNP (High School) 6-2 / 202
Exree Loe Fr DNP (High School) 6-0 / 208
Osman Kamara R-Fr DNP (Redshirt) 5-10 / 197
E.J. Brown Fr DNP (High School) 5-11 / 199
Collin Smith Fr DNP (High School) 6-0 / 200
Ricky Johns Fr DNP (High School) 6-3 / 192
Dante Bonamico R-Fr DNP (Redshirt) 5-8 / 182

Kyzir White

The youngest brother of Kevin and Ka’Raun, Kyzir also came to West Virginia from Lackawanna College. Kyzir earned a starting spot early last year and did not disappoint. Lauded by coaches, Kyzir brings a fierceness to the position.

Marvin Gross

Gross is a steady senior who helps provide stability in the back end of the secondary. Gross is able to play the bandit and spur positions and give the Mountaineers a healthy dose of blitz capability out of their safeties.

Dravon Askew-Henry

Henry was a steal for the Mountaineers out of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. He started as a true freshman and has been so capable you often forget about him. Playing the deep free safety, Askew-Henry allows Tony Gibson to employ Cover 0 and Cover 1 because he covers so much ground. Henry missed all of 2016 with an ACL tear but all reports he is back to his old self.

Toyous Avery

Avery is another steady performer and gives the Mountaineers a playmaker at their hybrid safety spots. While Gross is better going forward towards the line of scrimmage, Avery has been better as a coverage guy.

Derrick Pitts

Pitts was one of the top players in the state of West Virginia last year and the coaches are raving about him. He is slated as a backup right now but don’t be surprised if he makes a splash when he is on the field.