Recently, ESPN released its All-American teams and if you look closely, you will find West Virginia nose tackle Lamonte McDougle on the All-Freshman team.
McDougle posted a solid 2017 freshman campaign in which he notched 8 starts, 22 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. The nose tackle position was the biggest concern among the West Virginia defensive front coming into 2017 with Darrien Howard being lost to graduation. There was virtually no returning experience at the position. Guys like Jaleel Fields and Xavier Pegues were coming off injuries after they missed the entire 2016 season and the other newcomer Jalen Harvey had yet to play a down in the gold and blue.
McDougle caught my attention during the opening night vs Virginia Tech. He was constantly getting a push up front and caused a crowded pocket. In fact, I thought that McDougle was West Virginia’s most consistent defensive lineman this year by far. He is young, but you would never know it. He exemplifies the true definition of what defensive coordinator Tony Gibson wants to see out of that position.
This won’t be the last time you see his name on an All-American list. With three years remaining, he could grow into one of the best defensive players Mountaineers fans have seen this decade.