MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A total of 16 West Virginia natives are spread across the West Virginia University football roster this spring.
Some of them are known and proven, such as Fairmont Senior High School products Dante Stills on defense and Zach Frazier on offense, respectively.
Others are still looking to make a name for themselves and define a role for themselves on Neal Brown’s depth chart.
Brown spoke specifically about five of the state’s products on the roster after Tuesday’s practice.
“Wyatt Milum, passing to left tackle. I think that will suit him just fine – he’s left-handed,” Brown said of the Spring Valley High School graduate. “He added weight and strength, and I think it shows.”
Milum, entering his second season with the Mountaineers, was the first offensive player Brown specifically mentioned on Tuesday.
Another Mountain State offensive lineman was mentioned shortly after.
“Zach Frazier continues to play at a high level,” Brown said. “And he’s easy to forget, just because he trains regularly every day. Sometimes I forget to mention his name, just because I expect him to be an elite player every day.
Brown added that Frazier has been as consistent and played as well as any player on the roster.
Frazier and Milum were both West Virginia’s top prospects during their high school playing days. The same goes for transferred defensive lineman Zeiqui Lawton, who joins the Mountaineers after one season in Cincinnati.
“I think he’s probably more advanced than I anticipated when we signed him,” Brown said of the South Charleston High School product.
Lawton is a freshman in a red shirt.
While the three aforementioned players were all highly drafted and well-liked by West Virginia high school football players, a pair of favorite extras also stand out from Brown.
Both are from Morgantown.
Wide receiver Preston Fox is one. Fox, a redshirt sophomore, has seen action on offense and on special teams in four games in 2021.
“All he does is catch the ball,” said the fourth-year WVU head coach. “And you will see that when we have more open practices and stuff. But the kid just catches the ball. He makes contested holds, so that’s to his credit.
Fox racked up nearly 1,500 all-purpose yards as a senior for the Morgantown Mohigans.
Lineman Nick Malone, who Brown says hit 300 pounds, helped Fox get into the open space.
“I really felt like it was his first fall camp, I was like, ‘OK, pleasantly surprised at how much he was moving. And it kept growing,” Brown said. “And I’m not sure he won’t be a factor for us until all is said and done.”
Malone played in all 13 WVU games last year, as he added depth at tackle points and made a start.
WVU will play its annual Gold-Blue game on April 23.