Lee Autry could already be one of the biggest names in college football. His time to breakout has been pushed back slightly, but he could be expected to break out again soon.
Autry, a native of North Carolina, was originally committed to play at Wake Forest. A high school graduate in the Class of 2015, Autry instead opted to play football at Itawamba Community College in Mississippi.
It was there that his prospectus widened and he garnered more attention from SEC schools, including one in the backyard of Itawamba, Mississippi State.
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive lineman has worked on his foot skills, tackling ability and quickness in community college and it has prepared him for play at the Division I level.
Mississippi State was already on Autry as he was graduating from Albemarle High School last year. Autry also had offers and interest from schools such as Auburn, Florida State, Miami, North Carolina and UCLA.
Autry did not have an offer from West Virginia back then, but he does now.
The Mountaineers have obviously paid attention to the work that Autry has put in. According to some reports, Autry is obviously paying attention to what other schools besides Miss. State have to offer, too.
He must realize that he has gotten better as an overall player and he can certainly help the defensive efforts of a top Power Five program.
Autry has developed from a three-star recruit and the No. 88 defensive lineman in the country, according to ESPN, to the No. 1 JUCO defensive tackle, according to 247sports.com.
"“My whole focus is to just make more plays, period,” Autry told 247sports.com. “That’s all that is on my mind. And I think we are going to be pretty decent this year. We have a lot of good young guys coming in soon.“The whole spring I was at nose tackle,” said Autry. “I did that a little last year but I am there full-time now. It is a little different than the three-technique in that you face more double teams. But it is mostly the same and I feel much better at nose tackle than I did during last season. I think I did well and felt really good about how I did there this spring.”"
West Virginia has already been aggressive in targeting top talent at both the junior college and prep levels. Recently, head coach Dana Holgorsen has struck gold in JUCO players like Kevin and Ka’Raun White.
The Mountaineers have also sent feelers out to the top prep wide receiver in the country, Donovan Peoples-Jones.