Okoli Stays The Course With His Mountaineer Pledge
Neal Brown joined the West Virginia Mountaineers in January 2019 as their 34th head coach. Unfortunately, Brown entered about six months late on developing the formative relationships that would help build the 2020 recruiting class. But Brown certainly did not use that as an excuse. He and his staff got to work early on numerous coveted recruits. David Vincent-Okoli was one of those early targets. Based on their early and quick work, Okoli committed to West Virginia way back in June 2019. And, despite some late push from Maryland, Okoli stays the course with his Mountaineer pledge. West Virginia received his letter of intent earlier today.
Prior to the 2019 season, West Virginia saw a lot of attrition in its secondary, as we covered. As a result, the Mountaineers only rotated three cornerbacks the majority of the season. Two of those–Keith Washington and Hakeem Bailey—used the last of their eligibility in 2019. The other, Nicktroy Fortune, played well as a true freshman. Indeed, Brown showed a willingness all season to play kids regardless of their age, if he felt they were game ready. Fortune made the most of his opportunity. And while the Mountaineers will return highly-talented Dreshun Miller from injury, the staff has focused on adding bodies to the cornerback room.
Okoli enters Morgantown as a composite 4-star cornerback (per 247Sports) and a top 15 high school cornerback by at least one of the major three services. He played high school football in Gaithersburg, Maryland (which explains Maryland’s late push). But Okoli stayed true to his early pledge, swayed at least in part by the potential of early playing time. While Okoli proved to be a sure-handed receiver in high school, Brown and Vic Koenning offered Okoli a position at cornerback. His sure hands will certainly help Koenning’s defense improve its turnover margin. Okoli’s speed–he registered a 4.52 40-yard dash last May–will help him stay step-for-step with the Big 12’s plentiful receiving talent. Fans will certainly welcome Okoli to West Virginia’s 2020 recruiting class, which we will recap on the conclusion of the Early Signing Period.