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West Virginia Defensive End Ezekiel Rose Named A 2018 Breakout Player By ESPN

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Rose played an increasingly larger role as the 2017 progressed, and is poised to make some noise next season

NCAA Football: Delaware State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 West Virginia football hype train has already left the station, and is picking up speed. We all know that Mountaineer quarterback Will Grier and wide receiver David Sills V is likely to be on every offensive watchlist as the season approaches, but ESPN has added another name to the mix.

The Worldwide Leader in Sports named defensive end Ezekiel Rose one of twenty breakout players for the 2018 season, a list composed of athletes who played in a mostly reserve role in 2017 but showed glimpses of greatness.

We know West Virginia will chuck it around and score points in 2018, but its defense could be the difference in the Big 12/CFP race. Rose, coming out of "Last Chance U" at East Mississippi, emerged this past season as a force on the edge. He led WVU with five sacks despite a mostly reserve role, and he added an interception and a forced fumble.

In addition to the five sacks, interception and forced fumble, Rose proved his athletic ability with his surprise 23-yard kickoff return against Delaware State in September.