Player Tie Set Early Hook For David Vincent-Okoli’s WVU Commitment
Long before David Vincent-Okoli thought about a college football scholarship, he was entranced by a Mountaineer.
“I watched Tavon Austin at West Virginia and how he dominated. Watching him, I kind of see myself like him, with the speed, said the Maryland native, who also shares a home state with the former Mountaineer star. “He’s my role model He’s fast, makes people miss and that’s kind of like me.”
Vincent-Okoli didn’t watch complete games very much, as he was busy with his own athletic endeavors, which included football and track. Like many players of the current generation, his fandom came from clips, not contests.
“I saw all of his highlights I feel like WVU used him in the place that fit best them for them,” he said. “He was small and quick, and at receiver, and has great hands.”
Once Austin moved on, Vincent-Okoli shifted focus to his own career.
“After he left I didn’t watch college football any more. I was so busy with football and track, watching a few highlights were all I had time for.”
As he began earning accolades on the football field at wide receiver and cornerback, and on the track in sprints, his remaining free time began being consumed by recruiting. He visited West Virginia three different times, earning a scholarship offer the first week of June and commiting just a bit more than a week later.
“At the camp, I did everything they asked me to do, and I felt like I dominated. I played both offense and defense, and we did agilities and drills, and I just did my thing.”
That was more than enough to show West Virginia’s coaches that he had Division I level abilities, and when the offer came, it only took a short time for him to think it through and commit. He’ll start out at cornerback for WVU, although offense might be an option.
“My experience at receiver help me with reading routes, and my athleticism helps in coverage,” he said of the skills that make him a good cornerback. “I have a feel for playing in coverage. I think it’s just a natural ability I have.”
There has also been a good bt of self-motivated work and improvement for Vincent-Okoli and his track teammates at Watkins Mill High School.
“Last year in track we had a coach who was really good, but he left after the season. We were kind of to ourselves. The football coaches did help up, but it was just me training myself. I didn’t run my fastest in the state meet but I wtill won.”
That he did, winning the Class 3A 100 and 200 meters while anchoring the state champion 4×100 relay team.
“I knew going in to last year that the weakness in my race was my start. The turnover is what wins races for me. So I worked on my start, and that helped a lot.”
It will also pay benefits on the football field.
“I will still play both ways this year,” he said, confirming that he’ll go at both wide receiver and defensive back for Watkins Mill. “In fact, I’m going out to one of my coaches to do soe defensive back work, some footwork and other drills. There are definitely, things I have learned from coaches at camps. WVU’s camp really helped me a lot.
That initial Austin tie kept WVU in his mind, but it was solidified with what he found on his visits.
“Both the coaches and the players really made me feel at home. I feel what Coach (Neal) Brown is going to do and how he is going to change the program. He puts the players first, and I reall clicked in with them. I had one official host but really it was several players all together, hanging out with me, just like a family.”