The 2017 Mountaineer profile series continues with junior left tackle Yodny Cajuste. After back to back seasons have ended with a knee injury, can the Miramar product stay on the field for all 13 games this season? If so, the blindside protector might be the missing key for the offensive line.
Yodny Cajuste, OL, #55
Year: Junior (Redshirt)
Hometown: Miami, Fl
High School: Miramar High School
How he got to Morgantown
Cajuste played for former Mountaineer Damien Codgell at Miramar High School. It should be no secret that with Codgell in the high school ranks, West Virginia pulled in several Miramar products. Cajuste redshirted his freshman year in 2014 before taking over full time left tackle duties in 2015, as a redshirt freshman.
He sustained a knee injury against Baylor in 2015 that would sideline him until the bowl game. He then sustained a season-ending knee injury early against Missouri in 2016.
If healthy, West Virginia has a left tackle who is capable of playing at the next level, but health is the big question mark. Two seasons have ended with knee injuries and eventually that catches up to men who weigh over 300 pounds. Assuming he’s healthy, there is no reason to think that Cajuste can’t perform at a level that causes NFL scouts to write his name down and go back to watch more tape.
Backups: Up in the air
The post spring two-deep that was released listed Jah’Shaun Seider as the immediate backup but Seider has been removed from the official roster. There is no third team left tackle listed, so the options are murky. If I had to guess, Colton McKivitz would slide over to left tackle to immediate replace Cajuste.
McKivitz took over for Cajuste after Yodny was injured on the first series against Missouri. McKivitz task as a freshman was blocking Missouri defensive end Charles Harris, a future first round pick by the Miami Dolphins. The trial-by-fire helped bring McKivitz up to speed immediately.
2017 Dream Season
Cajuste stays healthy for all 13 games. He finally gets to show his talent level which anchors a line for both Will Grier and Justin Crawford/Kennedy McKoy/Martell Pettaway. Protecting Grier’s blindside gives the Mountaineers the ability to go 4-wide and send a running back out in checkdown without keeping in extra blockers. The extra receivers flood defenses and allow Grier to pick apart teams. Cajuste is then honored at the end of the year, being named an Outland Trophy finalist.