WVU Adds Juco Defensive Lineman To 2019 Commitment List
West Virginia added an outside complement to its defensive line recruits in the Class of 2019 when Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College redshirt freshman Taijh Alston announced his 100 percent pledge to WVU.
Alston enrolled in January of 2017 at East Carolina, but was redshirted following an excellent spring in which it appeared he would make a push for major playing time. At the end of the year, he announced he was leaving, and transferred to Copiah-Lincoln, where he has made an immediate impact. Through nine games this year, he has 66 tackles, including 40 solo stops. He’s also rushed the passer well, recording four sacks among his nine tackles for loss. That performance has helped the Wolves to a 6-3 overall record, including a 5-1 mark in the always tough Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges (MACJC).
At Union Pines High School in Cameron, N.C., Alston began his career as an outside linebacker before moving down to defensive end. He totaled 13.5 sacks and averaged 6.5 tackles per game at Union Pines, earning all-conference and all-region honors.
Alston shows very good leverage and burst when rushing from the outside. He has long arms and an angular build that helps him fend off blockers before they can get into his frame, and his flexibility and athleticism should also help him build more dips, turns and quick moves to defeat Division I-level blockers. Adding a bit of weight and strength will be a priority, but with three years of eligibility left at WVU, including the entire buildup to the 2019 season, he will have time to work on those attributes.
Alston’s quickness allows him to chase down plays from the back side, and he crashes hard down the line of scrimmage to cut down on his pursuit distance. He can make tackles out of his immediate area, and with his wingspan should also be able to impede throwing lanes when rushing the passer.
Alston joins Jalen Thornton as defensive line recruits in the Mountaineer class of 2019. The Mountaineers are now back to 16 players in the class, and are expected to sign 23 overall.