The biggest blow to last year’s WVU football team was the preseason injury to starting safety Dravon Askew-Henry.
Not only did it hurt to lose a starter, Askew-Henry was easily one of the best defensive players in the Big 12 Conference. The year before his injury, Askew-Henry started all 13 games as a sophomore for the Mountaineers.
He started every game as a true freshman, too, and was named an All-American. If he did get a chance to play last year, it’s safe to say he would have left for the NFL.
Dravon Askew-Henry will definitely be playing on Sunday. He could make the professional ranks following this, his redshirt junior season. His stats through two years of play with the Mountaineers speak for themselves.
On paper, everything he has done jumps off the page. In 26 career games, he tallied 57 total tackles with three interceptions. He can probably double those numbers this season.
If that’s the case, Askew-Henry can forgo his senior season and become a high draft pick in the NFL. But first, he will have to prove that he can bounce back from the injury. Hearing news of the injury shocked all of Mountaineer Nation, including Askew-Henry, himself.
The knee injury is hard for anyone to come back from and feel 100-percent. Needing the entire year off, Askew-Henry has had necessary time for rehabilitation and the strength training needed to get back into the prime condition he was in before the injury.
Askew-Henry’s speed and quickness were two of the biggest components to his game. Throughout camp, Askew-Henry looked healthy and back to his old form.
In a story by veteran sports writer Mitch Vingle of the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Askew-Henry said he felt alright.
"“One hundred percent. Glad to be back with my teammates. Feeling good. Toward spring ball I started feeling good. When it was time for camp I was ready. [Strength] Coach Mike Joseph and the training room guys got me back right.”"
His position coach Matt Caponi told Vingle, “He’s the leader I thought he would be.”
Askew-Henry, despite the injury, is the most experienced player on the defensive side of the ball. He’ll need to use that to his advantage as he gets his confidence and overall playing ability back on track.
Askew-Henry is a polished player who will do special things this season. He has been given a great opportunity with his new-found health. He cant afford to get hurt again as that could derail his personal aspirations and the Mountaineers’ success.
The WVU football team did win 10 games without Askew-Henry a year ago. But with him this year, the Mountaineers have the potential to win them all.