Spells Commits to West Virginia
Over the past few seasons, the Mountaineers suffered several unexpected losses in its secondary. As a result, Head Coach Neal Brown and staff lead focused efforts to rebuild depth there. They identified South Florida cornerback Jacolby Spells as a top target early. After his official visit several weekends ago, Spells glowed with praise about the environment in Morgantown. Now, we can deliver the good news: Spells commits to West Virginia.
Stiff Competition For Spells’ Commitment
Hailing from South Florida, Spells certainly saw early interest from Miami. Indeed, many viewed Miami as a clear-cut favorite early. West Virginia’s family atmosphere, however, left a favorable enough impression. Even after taking visits to both Miami and Indiana after leaving Morgantown, that impression withstood those tests.
Spells, of course, had plenty of other offers. Beyond those three, Spells received offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, and Oklahoma, among many others. Spells’ play earns him high praise from the recruiting services. 247Sports lists Spells as a four-star and ranks him as the 205th-best prospect in the entire Class of 2022. ESPN scouts Spells even more favorably, as he is a top-150 prospect on that service.
Highlight After Highlight
Spells’ junior-season highlights deliver a punch (pun intended). Spells relies on a combination of speed, awareness, and intelligence to lock down opposing receivers. We can even see a couple plays from his film where Spells seems to break too early on a route and find himself out of position. In both situations, Spells recovers well. Indeed, we have all heard the adage, “a cornerback has to have a short memory.” While we often think of that operating from play to play, Spells takes that to a new level. He shakes off his early mistake to recover on both occasions, and that says a lot about the type of player he is.
Brown sells West Virginia as a blue collar program, and Spells possesses plenty of that mentality. Plays like those show it well. On most plays, however, Spells does exactly what he needs to do. He digs hard, crowds receivers early, and uses an instinctual understanding of angles to cover his receivers. His closing speed is truly impressive. We see several instances on film where he closes a seven- to ten-yard gap almost instantaneously to shut down completions for short gains.
In Morgantown, that ability to keep the play in front of him will serve the Old Gold and Blue well. As the team builds from an aggressive front, avoiding the big play allows the rest of the unit to work as designed. Spells looks natural at reading quarterbacks, and he uses that skill to break up plenty of passes. On completions in his vicinity, Spells also plays with a tough edge and hits his receivers hard.
A Place In The Class
WVU continues to build momentum for its Class of 2022. We still anticipate several more highly-rated recruits, after Spells and Marchiol a couple weeks ago. Brown and his staff continue to do unprecedented things in Morgantown. While it’s not exactly “rare” for the Mountaineers to add a top-300 recruit (they add an average of one per year), it is less common for West Virginia to add multiple Top-300 recruits in the same cycle. West Virginia has added two in just a few weeks. Should his rating and commitment hold, Spells will enter Morgantown as the second highest-rated high school cornerback recruit in school history. To repeat, Brown continues to do unprecedented things here. Watch out, though, he is not yet done adding big pieces to this class!
Featured Image courtesy Sun-Sentinel