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Jackie Matthews Quickly Emerging Into Big Role

A question on the defensive side of the ball for the West Virginia football team this off-season is who will be able to replace Dreshun Miller and Tykee Smith in the secondary for the 2021 campaign. The Mountaineers have found their answer this spring.

Jackie Matthews.

WVU head coach has commented on Matthews’ spring thus far, stating that he has been doing great. Matthews—a senior from Birmingham, Alabama—was a JUCO player for two seasons before transferring to West Virginia. In the 2020 season, Matthews just played two games, recording three tackles.

The transition in college sports from the first year to the second is always a crucial time to develop and figure out your role on the team. Following the departures of Miller and Smith, Matthews has stepped up to the plate to replace the former Mountaineers.

On Saturday we got to witness the improvement by Matthews during the WVU spring game. In the chunk of scrimmage action that took place, Matthews recorded two tackles while breaking up a pass from Jarret Doege. Brown took notice and mentioned how he values the play during the spring game.

“What we talk about is [that] these scrimmage opportunities are game-like and we try to only go in the stadium for special opportunities. So, we try to make a big deal when we go to the stadium,” Brown said. “I think if you shine in those stadium scrimmage opportunities, those in my mind from an evaluation standpoint do count more than just your regular practice.”

Brown and the coaching staff acknowledged Matthews’ improvement so far this spring as they named him the Most Improved First-Year Player during Saturday’s festivities.

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