If you hear fireworks in Morgantown, West Virginia, they might be in celebration of a meaningful commitment in addition to the holiday. Four-star cornerback Jacolby Spells announced his commitment to the Mountaineers on Sunday, giving West Virginia’s 2022 recruiting class a significant boost.
Spells chose West Virginia over Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana and Miami. He had recently taken official visits to Indiana and Miami, but it seems the most convincing trip took place with Neal Brown and his coaching staff.
“I picked West Virginia because when I went up there I felt all family vibes,” Spells told 247Sports. “It’s a great place and a great town. I built a great relationship with all of the coaches and I got a lot of trust in them coaches — especially Coach [Travis] Trickett and Coach [ShaDon] Brown. I trust them a lot and I feel like they can develop me and get me to the next level. I also love Coach Neal Brown.”
Spells, who plays at American Heritage in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, made the move from receiver to corner this past season, and is considered one of the fastest players in the state. He is the eleventh member of West Virginia’s 2022 class and the first corner to jump on board. His addition pushes West Virginia’s 2022 class ranking up to 38th nationally and fifth in the Big 12 behind Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor and Oklahoma State.
Here’s the scouting report on Spells from 247 Sports’ Andrew Ivins.
A track athlete with elite foot speed that has broken 10.8 in the 100-meter dash multiple times. Pushing 5-foot-11. Started prep career off as a wide receiver before transitioning to cornerback where he started as a junior for an American Heritage team that won a 5A state title. Sound drive mechanics allow him to quickly change directions and beat the ball to the catch point. Offensive background makes him rather competitive when it’s a 50/50 situation. Relatively smooth in his backpedal for someone still learning how to be a full-time defender and is able to open his hips up while still gaining depth. Can recover from most missteps in a split second given his burst, which is a valuable attribute to have in an era where most offensive coordinators are looking to air it out. Has experience playing both press and off-man coverage. Not the most physically imposing prospect at first glance given his leaner build, but a solid high-to-low tackler that will gear down to make a stop in the open field. Must continue to evolve as a player and keep improving his technique over the next few years, but has the skillset to develop into a coverage specialist for a Power 5 program that’s able to work both inside and outside. Extra gear likely to eventually draw looks from scouts at football’s highest level.