Fall camp has officially kicked off at Milan Puskar Stadium. Following day one of camp, Neal Brown said the secondary group had a “good first day.”

The secondary has raised a lot of question marks in the offseason, as Brown and his staff lost several key defensive players to the transfer portal. With spots to fill, Brown focused on getting more experience in the secondary.

“It was clear coming out of spring that we needed some experience,” Brown said. “We need some experience in that room to match Charles (Woods).”

A returning starter, Charles Woods is a key aspect to the Mountaineers’ defense. Last year, Woods was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention after he transferred from Illinois State in summer 2021.

Brown says Woods has gotten “considerably stronger” as he has had a productive offseason in the weight room.  

Another returning Mountaineer is sophomore Aubrey Burks, who played six games in 2021 before sustaining a season-ending injury. Following day one of camp, Brown described Burks as “having a lot of confidence.”

“He’s more under control,” Brown said. “Plays patient.”

Brown also mentioned redshirt freshman Andrew Wilson-Lamp, saying he and his staff “really like him” and feel that he will contribute at cornerback.

Although Brown has a few returning players, he brought in some experience through the transfer portal. Transfers Wesley McCormick and Rashad Ajayi impressed Brown during camp and have the opportunity to compete for a starting position.

“They’re going to compete to play,” said Brown. “We brought them in here because we thought they could compete for starting spots at the corner position and also help us on multiple special teams.”

A redshirt senior, McCormick played for James Madison University from 2017-2020, where he totaled 68 tackles over his career and started several games at cornerback.

Rashad Ajayi transferred from Colorado State, where he started all 12 games at cornerback during the 2021 season, finishing with 28 tackles.

Brown also picked up former North Dakota State linebacker Jasir Cox, who will be utilized in the secondary at the spear position. Brown said Cox gives flexibility in the dime package and described him as a “really smart football player.”

With the new additions to the roster, Browns says they have added “over a thousand live reps” of experience in the secondary.

“While maybe they haven’t played for us, they’ve played football at a really high level,” Brown said, regarding the newcomers.

With fall camp just beginning, the newcomers have a lot to prove. With their talent and experience, though, there may be some adjustments to starting positions by September 1st.