Reminiscing Brings Eagerness to WVU’s Askew-Henry
After tearing his ACL last preseason, WVU safety Dravon Askew-Henry is ready to lead the Mountaineers’ defense.
There was someone very noticeable missing from the WVU secondary last season. It was Dravon Askew-Henry.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Many anticipated and imagined what could have been an intimidating tandem with Askew-Henry at safety and Rasual Douglas at corner. But those dreams were set aside well before the season started when Askew-Henry went down with a season-ending knee injury.
Askew-Henry, though, didn’t waver. He’d seen his fair share of injuries handled the correct way.
“Seeing Karl (Joseph) go through it, Darrelle Revis, one of my favorite players Tryrann Mathieu — I saw that it can be done,” Askew-Henry said during the beginning of fall camp this season. “All I said was: What’s so different from me?”
It’s no secret that Askew-Henry returns with high expectation. After starting every game of his Mountaineer career up until last season, Askew-Henry had 83 tackles and three interceptions. A productive first two seasons in Morgantown, but without a doubt the year off was a setback.
“My freshman year I was the youngest one out there. My sophomore year I kind of started to pick up on things, started to take the leader role,” he said. “And then going into my junior year I was ready, I was that leader, I was the person bringing the energy.”
And now the redshirt junior is picking up right where he left off. The injury did not afford much chance to work with safeties coach Matt Caponi, though. Now the second-year assistant has been anticipating the return of one of his best players for a while.
“I’m anxious to get back and be able to coach him again to see how he leads this group of guys, leads this team as a leader and just to see his play-making ability on the field,” Caponi said.
Being able to work with Caponi and the rest of the team has brought about a new excitement in Askew-Henry. A no-days-off kind of mentality.
“Coaches would tell me you need to sit this one out, or you need to rest your bod. I was just in the mindset of ‘I have to get back,’ ” Askew-Henry said.
Taking advantage of the reps he has been given, Askew-Henry’s work ethic has become noticeable to the point that you might forget he was ever hurt.
“Four practices in and no complaints from his end, no complaints on my end,” Caponi said early in camp. “Still cleaning up a few things but as the leader that I thought he would be. No complaints on my end about what he’s been doing.”
Just how hopeful is Askew-Henry of a big year? A reporter asked the safety: “Does it ever feel like a different time when you had that pick six against Oklahoma State?”
Askew-Henry grinned and simply said, “I can’t wait to do that again.”