Being a native of WV and a fan of WVU football, I’m always on the lookout for talent whom I think would be a fit in WVU’s style of offense or defense. I think I have found such a talent in my own backyard, and according to Head Coach Jay Minton a native of Bridgeport, WV, so does he. According to Minton he has spoken to WVU Coach Bruce Tall about his player Daryl McCleskey Jr.
McCleskey is a 5’9″, 185 pound RB and CB with the athleticism and speed that fits nicely into WVU’s style of play, both offensively and defensively. If McCleskey was 6’0″ or taller he could play CB, but at only 5’9″ he is more suited for safety.
What I like about McCleskey, and I have watched him play in every game the past two season, is his tenacity. McCleskey runs hard, has good hands, and has some pretty good moves as a RB, and on defense he possesses a mean steak when it comes to laying the lumber on an opponent. In the video below, you’ll see him cause a fumble with a solid hit. McCleskey also has some pretty good speed. I have no clue what his star rating his, but listen to the commentary from an ESPN announcer during the Wayne vs Moeller game earlier this past season. – I was at the game.
According to Coach Minton WVU Coach Tall told him at some point their recruiting was full. However, recently we have been informed of a WVU player being kicked-off the team and of two WVU juniors heading into the NFL, with one of these players being basically, WVU’s offenses in that RB Wendell Smallwood, and two WVU 2016 commits have uncommitted from WVU and committed elsewhere. This has to have opened-up a scholarship or two for WVU. If you are a WVU fan, then you know WVU needs talent at running back.
Take a look at the following video. This video is from Wayne vs St. Edwards State Championship Game that took place in Nov 2015 at the Ohio State University ‘Shoe’ Stadium. I was there.
In two seasons WVU fans have yet to see WVU RB Rushel Shell III or RB Donte Thomas-Williams, both 4-star high school recruits show they have the talent or athleticism to become WVU’s next star running back.
WVU RB Stats for 2015:
- Wendell Smallwood – 238 rushing attempts for 1519 yards with a 6.38 yards per carry average and an average of 116.85 yards per game. Smallwood also had 26 catches for 160 yards for the season. Smallwood lead the Big XII in rushing in 2015.
- Rushel Shell III – 161 rushing attempts for 708 yards with a 4.40 yards per carry average and an average of 54.46 yards per game. Shell also had 15 catches for 101 yards for the season
- Donte Thomas-Williams – 14 rushing attempts for 43 yards with a 3.07 yards per carry and an average of 8.60 yards per game. DTW also caught 1 pass for 7 yards for the season.
As you can see Smallwood was WVU rushing offense. While Smallwood only had 71 more carries than Shell he rushed for more than twice the yardage (811). DTW wasn’t even close to Shell. Looking at these stats you can see WVU needs a RB in 2016, for WVU can’t count on Shell or DTW. When I look at 5’9″ 165 lb Daryl McCleskey Jr. I see a Wendell Smallwood type of athlete, who could come in and give them much of what they will be missing with Smallwood moving on to the NFL.
Here is another video of McCleskey. After watching these 3 videos you can make-up your own mind if this kid has the talent WVU needs to improves its running game in 2016.
I wish McCleskey much success where ever he ends up! I really like what I see from this kid. Congratulations to Wayne Warriors for being Ohio’s D-1 Runner-up; To WVU for winning the Cactus Bowl!
GO WAYNE and GO EERs!!!