MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — True freshman Ben Cutter was already an element for West Virginia when the Mountaineers have been concerned in a detailed contest at TCU again on September 30.
In the course of the fourth quarter of that sport, linebacker Trey Lathan suffered a critical damage that introduced what had been a promising redshirt freshman marketing campaign to an abrupt finish.
With it, Cutter assumes the function of mike linebacker and is about to make his first begin at 7 p.m. Thursday when West Virginia performs at Houston.
“It’s important to put together each week like you’re the starter, so that when you get in, you’re prepared,” Cutter stated.
A local of Denver, N.C., Carter has 12 whole tackles and a deal with for loss, which he recorded in his first dwelling sport towards Duquesne. Within the Mountaineers’ 24-21 conquer the Horned Frogs, Cutter was credited with two solo stops and 4 assisted tackles.
“There’s not likely time for nerves as a result of you’ve a lot to consider, get aligned and understanding your project,” Cutter stated. “You don’t have time to actually take into consideration the way you’re feeling. You simply go on the market and do your job.”
Final yr, as a senior at East Lincoln Excessive College, Cutter posted eye-opening statistics en path to serving to his workforce seize the 3A state championship. He completed with 193 tackles, two sacks, eight tackles for loss and 4 interceptions.
“The way in which our protection was arrange in highschool, they actually couldn’t run away from me. I used to be in the midst of the sphere and we had two stack linebackers on both facet of me,” Cutter stated. “All people’s job was principally to field in and get the whole lot again to the within. If the whole lot is funneling to me, I’m going to make plenty of performs in highschool.”
Throughout his recruitment, Cutter gave consideration to Appalachian State and Louisville, although a visit to Morgantown was his solely official go to.
“I’d go to App State and also you take a look at their gamers and so they’re simply not as developed as some guys you see on the Energy 5 stage, particularly right here at West Virginia with our power workers that does a terrific job,” Cutter stated. “I knew coming in right here, I may positively be the very best participant strolling out that I may probably be at any program.”
But after taking part in final season at 213 kilos, he was right down to 205 upon enrolling early at WVU in January.
“I had been sick proper earlier than I enrolled early, most likely like two weeks earlier than,” Cutter recalled. “I had the flu and I used to be fairly sick, so I misplaced plenty of weight.”
Cutter rapidly labored so as to add weight and did simply that, getting as much as 225 kilos throughout his first month with this system.
Now, a rotational defensive participant that’s additionally been an element on particular groups turns into a pivotal a part of a protection that loved a profitable September. Solely Penn State has surpassed 21 factors amongst West Virginia’s first 5 opponents.
Cutter believes enrolling early has been helpful throughout his transition.
“I had loads of time for issues to begin slowing down for me, so I really feel I used to be fairly ready going out for my first snap,” he stated.
One of many tougher changes has been studying to have extra accountability in move protection, one thing Cutter hardly ever needed to do in highschool whereas thriving as an aggressive linebacker.
“That was most likely the hardest half,” Cutter says. “I used to be a downhill linebacker in highschool and beloved becoming the run. We actually didn’t have too many protection guidelines. Coming in right here and studying all of the various things you need to see, the completely different changes you’ve and the various kinds of coverages we play was an enormous adjustment for certain. Coming in early helped me regulate to the sport.”
Whereas WVU might not have envisioned Cutter as a starter this early in his profession, defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley doesn’t sound overly involved and believes it’s crucial he do his half to place Cutter in spots to succeed.
“The No. 1 factor, Ben performs the sport the correct means. He performs quick and bodily,” Lesley stated. “Similar to any freshman, irrespective of whenever you begin taking part in or how a lot you begin taking part in, there’s at all times a studying curve. We have now to maintain him in good conditions and good positions and Ben will likely be fantastic.”
Alongside the best way, the newcomer to varsity will look to profit from his prolonged expertise whereas retaining Lathan on his thoughts.
“He got here within the different morning me and we have been in a linebacker assembly and all of us went down and talked to him,” Cutter stated. “He appeared in good spirits. It was good to see him and see him smile.“
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