WVU Hits Ohio Again For Another Class of 2021 Football Commitment
West Virginia’s football program continued to make inroads in the state of Ohio on Thursday evening when it obtained the commitment of running back Jaylen Anderson. The rising senior is the second consecutive commit from the state for WVU, and the third overall in the Class of 2021.
— Jaylen Anderson1️⃣ (@JaylxnAnderson1) April 17, 2020
A strongly built runner with a decided north-south style, Anderson wastes little time in getting his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage when he gets the ball in his hands. He’s a standout both running and catching the ball, and his coaches at Perry High School utilize him in a variety of ways in the offense. Whether it’s direct handoffs, quick screen or swing passes, jet sweeps or even downfield routes, he secures the ball quickly and transitions into a runner with devastating effect.
Anderson had 1,086 rushing yards and 883 receiving yards as a junior. He scored 16 times on the ground and added another 11 TDs on his 51 receptions as Perry rolled to an 12-1 record and a spot in the Division IV regional finals. He was a first-team OHSAA All-Ohio selection following the season.
Anderson’s strength is evident in his upper body, and while he does have an upright running style, defenders have a tough time getting a bead on him to make tackles. He has some deceptive footwork that allows him to make one-cut moves to avoid tacklers, and although he’s not a jitterbug style of runner, he piles up yards by taking the shortest distance downfield. Even in short yardage situations, he dictates the action, and runs through arm tackles consistently.
Anderson’s versatility in getting the ball makes him an ideal weapon in a multi-pronged attack. He can line up at any running back or receiving position to create mismatches, and that should allow WVU to use him a variety of roles without substitution, which can put the defense at a disadvantage. His excellent hands, which he displays in catching every kind of pass, make him an all-purpose threat that can be a fulcrum for an offense.
For his career, Anderson has averaged 8.5 yards per carry, piling up 2,642 yards on 308 carries as a three-year starter heading into his senior season. He’s balanced that with 108 catches for 1,642 receiving yards and another 29 scores.
Anderson had offers from more than 30 schools. Power 5 institutions in the mix included Boston College, Florida, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Pitt, Utah and Virginia in addition to WVU.
Anderson is West Virginia’s fifth offensive player in the class, joining quarterback Will “Goose” Crowder, offensive lineman Wyatt Milum, wide receiver Andrew Wilson-Lamp and tight end Victor Wikstrom. The Mountaineers also have defensive verbals from end Russell Hammond and safety Saint McLeod.