Traylon Ray, the true freshman from Tallahassee has added a much-needed spark to West Virginia’s passing attack from time to time but can find himself in a more demanding role as he continues to improve.
“Playing more than the average freshman, it’s definitely a lot to take on,” Ray said in a press conference Monday. “But Coach Lal (Bilal Marshall) definitely been helping me through it all, so it’s definitely been getting a lot easier.”
So far this season, Ray has 12 catches for 164 yards and one touchdown which he scored against Houston.
“Fall camp, we had a scrimmage that was you know definitely when I knew I could play at this level. That’s when the confidence started to come out. I always had confidence, but that’s definitely when it stuck out to me” Ray said.
In the team’s last two games, Ray had 5 receptions for 98 yards, with his longest reception being 49 yards in the loss to No. 17 Oklahoma.
Paired up with fellow true freshmen Rodney Gallagher III and Jahiem White, West Virginia has a solid big three on offense for the next couple of seasons if kept together.
“Rodney that’s honestly like one of my best friends, him and Jahiem those are like my best friends up here, so it’s always competition but, it’s healthy competition,” Ray said of his relationship with White and Gallagher. “We’re always trying to see you know ‘who’s gonna hit this speed’, ‘who can make this many catches’, ‘who can have no in-maze during practice’ things of that nature so, it’s honestly great having someone like that in my same position so, I can compete with them and get better every day.”
West Virginia’s coaching staff knows of Ray’s upside. Ray is having this success as a true freshman, coming to school in July, compared to January like a lot of others. With that, Ray did not have a true offseason and the hope for Ray is once he gets that full offseason in, he can elevate his game to a higher level.
“I mean it just becomes a deal where he’s just playing against older guys that [are] stronger than he is right now. But when he develops the strength with his ball skills and his body control, he’s going to be real special,” offensive coordinator Chad Scott said of Ray.