Yodny Cajuste is still blossoming into his potentially powerful frame. He’ll be growing in the 2016 season with the WVU football team, along a veteran offensive line.
The redshirt sophomore from Miami stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs in at 300 pounds. He hails from Miramar High School, the same prep program that produced other Mountaineer talent like quarterback Geno Smith and wide receiver Stedman Bailey.
In 2015, Cajuste started six games for the Mountaineers and he has been penciled in as a full-time starter at left tackle for this season. Cajuste had some injury problems a year ago and missed some games because of it. It appears Cajuste has regained his full strength and should dominate the 2016 season.
The offensive line may just be the most talented facet of the Mountaineers for the upcoming year. The veteran staff, led by center Tyler Orlosky, is big like Cajuste and experienced like Orlosky. Other starters on the current depth chart include Adam Pankey at left guard, Kyle Bosch at right guard and Marcell Lazard at right tackle.
Another positive in the line is their versatility. WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen and offensive line coach Ron Crook adjusted the lineup on several occasions last season. Some move were due to injury, others were for personnel purposes. Waiting in the wings this season are Tony Matteo, who had a few starts last year, Colton McKivitz, who was a scout team champion a year ago, Rob Dowdy, Grant Lingafelter, Ja’HShaun Seider.
The Mountaineer offense is still under development for this season. It’s not clear which direction the team will trend in 2016 as 2015 was a bit unconventional. Last year, West Virginia ran the more more efficiently than passing it, a contrast to what a Holgorsen-coached team is supposed to do.
For the whole offensive to run as efficiently as possible, the big guys on the line need to be able to hold their blocks and clear lanes, no matter the situation. That’s why Cajuste might be the best linemen on the squad, even with All-American Orlosky as one of the team leaders.
Ajuste has gotten stronger over the past season and still have three full seasons to develop with the Mountaineers.
“I would say the biggest thing is getting stronger, because that’s the No. 1 thing with being an offensive lineman,” Cajuste told Mike Casazza of the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “I always had people telling me to stay in the weight room before last year. I’d listen, and I’d be in the weight room, but not as much as I’m in the weight room now.”
In Casaba’s article, he notes that Cajuste was a nationally recognized recruit coming out of high school, ranked 40th at tackle. Plus, in the talent-ridden region of south Florida, Cajuste was a top 100 prospect. He had offers from the top football schools on the east coast, but he chose the Mountaineers.
The early playing time he has received and the unique offense of the Mountaineers have proven that the WVU football team was the best fit for the strong Cajuste. If he continues this upward climb, he will be noticed as one of the top lineman in the country, sooner rather than later.
Already tabbed as underrated, just wait until he hits the field this season. The Mountaineers have had plenty of offensive talent picked up in the NFL Draft in recent years, it won’t be long until a lineman gets the notoriety too.