WVU Signing Day Roundup: Donavan Beaver
Donavan Beaver OL 6-7 280 Massaponax HS Fredericksburg, VA
Dorchester’s Take: “Big ol’ ‘Beav’ is a big country kid. He is a wildlife and outdoors guy, and really fits West Virginia well. He played in a wing-T offense in high school, so he has to work on his pass pro, because he hasn’t had to do it much. But he’s big, moves well, is a smart kid who wants to be at West Virginia. He’s a guy you put in the weight room and see what comes out in a year or two.”
If there’s an player that might be primed to follow in the footsteps of current Mountaineer Colton McKivitz, it’s Beaver. Not only does the duo share a love of the outdoors, but both are dedicated to the game, and won’t be outworked. That ethic, plus the ground-based offense run by the Panthers, has allowed him to hone his skills in that area of the game while developing the aggressive mentality necessary to move opponents in the trenches.
Congrats to #PONAX student-athletes @donavanbeaver-WVU & @TeaganMcDonald-ODU… @WVUfootball & @ODUFootball are lucky to get these warriors who are even better young men! They get it done on the field AND in the classroom! pic.twitter.com/FAmFR6p5bJ
— Ponax Sports (@PonaxSports) December 19, 2018
That is complemented by his excellent first steps out of his stance, which show up time and again in his film. Beaver beats everyone off the line consistently, allowing him to get downfield or to the perimeter quickly to establish the first block past the point of attack. That gives Beaver an excellent foundation upon which to build, especially in pass protection, which he didn’t get a number of opportunities to work on as a high schooler. Ordinarily, that would be a big concern, but the speed, quickness and agility he showed across the board at Massaponax alleviated most of those for the teams who offered him scholarships.
Like most offensive lineman, Beaver won’t have to play immediately. WVU loses two offensive linemen from this year’s squad, but the numbers will be good, as his addition, along with two other players in the recruiting class, will give the Mountaineers sufficient numbers with which to work in 2019.
For Beaver, it’s going to be a matter of repetition after repetition, especially in pass protection drills. These don’t even have to come during formal practices — the techniques of initial steps – post, kick, set can be repped just about anywhere there are a few square feet of space. Like putting in golf or honing a shooting motion in basketball, working on those techniques requires weeks and months to perfect.
Even though he was primarily a guard in high school, Beaver will begin his West Virginia career slotted as a tackle. His quickness afoot, paired with his height and reach, will give him the chance to be a edge blocker at WVU. If that doesn’t work out, he could always move back down inside, but he has the combination of work ethic and raw physical skills to become one of the Mountaineers’ anchor tackles entering the next decade.
Beaver’s Other Offers: Florida, Louisville, Maryland, NC State, North Carolina, Pitt, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech.