Defensive lineman Taijh Alston has suffered numerous injuries throughout his four years of college football. Despite the continuous challenge of overcoming injuries, Alston persevered and worked his way to become a dominant defensive starter for the Mountaineers.

Alston came to WVU in January 2019, playing two games before sustaining a knee injury that ended his season. While Alston was making a comeback to play in 2020, he suffered another injury, this time tearing his Achilles.

“I had a few doubts when I had my injuries,” Alston said. “I just knew that I love this game, and if I worked every day, something good would come out of it.”

Alston said he questioned if he should continue his football career. Although there was uncertainty of the future, Alston knew football wasn’t something he could easily give up.

“I love the game of football,” he said. “I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of that.”

In 2021, Alston finally had an injury-free season and started week one on the defensive line. He finished with 37 tackles, including five sacks and 11 tackles for loss, and was selected as the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Honorable Mention.

For the 2022 season, Alston had a choice to make: to forgo his final year of eligibility or to come back for his redshirt senior season. With injuries standing in the way of opportunities in previous years, the decision was easy to make.

“I knew I was going to come back,” Alston said. “I just wanted to show people what I could do.”

Alston has come back even stronger this season and is ready to make his mark at defensive end.

“I just keep my head down and work,” Alston said. “You’ll see September 1.”

Photo by William Wotring, The Dominion Post