Verbal View: Jaleel Fields

Jaleel Fields

West Virginia got its second commitment in three days from Aliquippa, Pa., when Jaleel Fields picked the Mountaineers.

Fields followed the path blazed by Dravon Henry on Monday in committing to West Virginia. He first announced the commitment via his Twitter account.

While Fields played alongside Henry, it would be a mistake to lump the powerful interior defensive lineman together with the defensive back as a "package deal" or view him as an afterthought. He's a talented player with a lot of strength who has the potential to develop into an anchoring force on the defensive front.

WHAT TO LIKE: Fields is already defensive-line sized, and while he'll certainly want to add some weight and strength in college, he's at a good starting point. He uses his physical abilities well, and shows solid technique at the snap. He stays low with good pad level, and works through the play to the whistle. He shows some good technique in getting off blocks, and while he's not a speed demon, he can cover his area and get to either gap to defend against the run.

In many respects, he's a sort of throwback Pennsylvania player: a tough workaholic who should continue to improve throughout his college career. A relevant comparison might be current Mountaineer defensive lineman Kyle Rose, who has built himself into a starter who will also be a leader on the 2014 team.

POSSIBLE CONCERNS: Like many interior defensive linemen, Fields isn't an outstanding pass rusher at this point in his career.

Jaleel Fields
POS DL
HT 6-3
WT 290
SCH Aliquippa HS
LOC Aliquippa Pa.
He has the ability and strength to be a pocket collapser, but hasn't consistently shown those talents just yet. He'll need to learn and employ multiple pass rush moves to complement his power, and after some development could provide some of the inside push that the Mountaineers have so desperately needed over the past few years.

Fields also isn't a speedy guy who will chase down plays away from him, but that's a very rare quality in a defensive lineman. He does slide well down the line at times, and should have the ability to help jam plays between the tackles as his awareness and ability to get off blocks develops.

OVERALL ANALYSIS: Fields is the sort of player that West Virginia built its program on during the 1980s and 2000s. He's not the highest-rated player on the boards, but he's very physical, even for an interior lineman, and shows the dedication and fire to continue to improve over the course of his career.

West Virginia does need immediate defensive line help next year, and that could open up a chance for him to play early, although it's always preferable for young offensive and defensive linemen to sit out their first year while developing. Depending on the outcome of West Virginia's recruiting efforts in the junior college ranks, Fields could find himself at any number of positions in the pecking order of WVU D-Line candidates in 2014. For those looking to a return of West Virginia blue collar defensive play, however, Fields could be just the ticket.

Fields chose WVU over his other finalists, Purdue and Cincinnati. He is ranked as the #72 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com.

Class of 2014 WVU Football Verbal Commitments

BlueGoldNews.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Tweets