ORLANDO, Florida.–After an impeccable season, Rasul Douglas’ career at West Virginia University will come to an end on Wednesday after the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Douglas played two seasons with the Mountaineers after transferring from Nassau Community College and the 2016 campaign was a brilliant one for the senior.
Douglas was tied for the FBS lead with eight interceptions and he did this against some of the country’s most dangerous offenses. He also had one sack, a forced fumble and 62 tackles.
Despite stellar numbers in a league that lacked defense, someone didn’t think Douglas deserved first-team All-American honors. Instead, he was named second-team All-American.
“The goals I wrote down, I kind of didn’t get to those goals,” he said. “Some of those goals, I wanted to be a Jim Thorpe winner, which I didn’t. I wanted to be first team All-American, which I didn’t. I guess just playing at a high level. I accomplished that. Being a hard worker, staying coachable, stuff like that I accomplished but the other goals I didn’t even accomplish.”
While the 6-foot-2, 203-pound cornerback fell short of some of his personal goals, there is no denying that he developed into one of the nation’s top defensive backs and is on the radar of NFL scouts.
“I think I improved everywhere across the board as in changing direction, as in knowing the game, as in playing at a high level, getting pushed,” he said. “My game has improved dramatically from last year.”
As Douglas prepares to don a WVU uniform for one final time, his emotions are running high.
“It feels crazy,” he said. “I feel like I just got here honestly but things have to come to an end and life goes on for the next chapter to start. So I’m just trying to sync everything into this game and give it one last hurrah with my brothers, who I did everything with.”
The bond of this Mountaineers squad has been evident all season. They are more than teammates. They are family.
“We do everything together,” Douglas said. “We play video games together. We are at each other’s house every day. We’re talking all the time in group texts so it’s kind of big.”
Those relationships will last Douglas a lifetime.
Coming to WVU to play football was one the best decisions the East Orange, NJ native has ever made.
“I am so happy with my decision,” he said. “I’ve got better as a football player, as a man. I’ve just matured a lot. I’m happy I came here and played my last two years.”
Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS