Mountaineers Add Christion Stokes
West Virginia football gained momentum for its 2022 recruiting class during its first official visits since the extends COVID dead periods. Just moments ago, the class gained another top target as the Mountaineers add Christion Stokes to its commitment list.
Stokes’ Rating and Offers
Stokes, a safety from Michigan, represents a very welcome addition at a position of need for WVU. As of today, Stokes holds an 88-rating by 247Sports. On their composite scale, 247Sports ranks him just inside the Top 500 recruits in the country.
Stokes holds offers from multiple Power 5 programs, including Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Maryland, and Penn State. Ultimately, he narrowed his selection to West Virginia, Iowa, and Michigan State. Moments ago, he confirmed what many expected: he will be taking his skills to Morgantown next season.
Mountaineers Add A Versatile Skill Set
Head Coach Neal Brown certainly added a versatile skillset to his team with Stokes’ commitment. His junior-season highlights illustrate that point well. Indeed, we see Stokes taking snaps at quarterback (not just in the wildcat formation), swinging out to the slot, and carrying the ball in many of his highlighted plays. We also see a few instances of Stokes making his presence felt on special teams, laying out critical blocks on return units.
Brown and his staff, however, recruit Stokes primarily to play safety. From the looks of it, he can play any of the three safety spots featured in WVU’s base defense. Stokes offers plenty of instinct and awareness that could allow him to slide into the spear position. Stokes’ hard-nosed tackling and contact-seeking tendencies also fit perfectly there.
Standing at 6-0 and weighing in at 180 pounds, Stokes also fits the mold of the free safety as well. He offers plus coverage skills, and rarely finds a play develop behind him. Even when he finds himself isolated in coverage, he can match receivers step for step.
How Stokes Fits At WVU
Brown, of course, prefers to develop players who can slot in at multiple positions. This is not just “coach speak” either. As we know, the transfer portal represents a new normal across all of college football. As a result, versatility is highly sought after. The transfer market makes it increasingly difficult to predict roster composition beyond the next season. Stokes’ skill set should allow him to meet the requirements of any of the three safety positions.
That versatility, and the blue-collar work ethic he demonstrates (especially on special teams) should offer him early playing time at a position of need, too. The Mountaineers lose at least four of their eight scholarship safeties after this season. As a result, we expect Stokes to be have plenty of early opportunities to make a difference. And his skillset shows that he can do just that.
Main image courtesy Detroit News