Sunday, July 15, 2012

48 Willie Drewrey

Hometown: Columbus, NJ
Career: 1981-1984
Record: 35-16, Bowl Record: 3-1
Willie Drewrey was Tavon Austin before Austin was even conceived. Drewrey was an electrifying player for the Mountaineers in the early 80s. He was an ace in the return game and a consistent slot receiver. Drewrey found his niche on special teams at the end of his freshman season. Coach Don Nehlen realized he had to get Willie more touches, giving him increased playing time at wide receiver as his career progressed. Drewrey had a monster senior campaign, ranking 3rd in punt returns, 10th in punt return yardage, and 20th in all-purpose yards. He would be named 1st team All-America that year. In all, Drewrey collected 3,508 career all-purpose yards and 9 touchdowns. He still holds the school record for career punt return yardage 1,191. His special teams capabilities earned him a spot in the NFL for 9 seasons with the Buccaneers (in their dreamcicle uniforms) and the Oilers (now the Titans).

Memorable Game: The game that best showcased Willie Drewrey’s dual-threat capability was the 1984 Backyard Brawl. West Virginia had just lost its #18 ranking after a shocking loss to Maryland at home in week 4 of the season. Next up was a tough road game against the rival Pitt Panthers. Willie Drewrey would help spark a big win for the Mountaineers, returning a punt for a touchdown and catching another. The Mountaineer defense forced two Panthers turnovers and held the offense to just 10 points for the afternoon. West Virginia took down Pitt 28-10.

Competition: Drewrey is the only real star to have ever worn #48 for the Mountaineers. There were, however, some memorable role players to don this number such as Akeem Jackson and Jeremy Kash.

Teaser: The selection at #47 is a player who was as tough as they come. He overcame multiple injuries (and subsequent surgeries) to play for the Mountaineers. He was also an outstanding student to boot, something that the vast majority of college football players cannot match. Tomorrow we take a bit of a walk on the wild side, by honoring a tremendous scholar and athlete.

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