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West Virginia's defense will count on Dravon Askew-Henry (right).

Heralded West Virginia DB Askew-Henry recovered, ready to roll

Of all the elements of the West Virginia defense, the return of Dravon Askew-Henry might be the most important for the Mountaineers’ chances for success this season.

Askew-Henry missed the 2016 season with a knee injury that occurred last August. Sitting out and watching his teammates during a 10-3 season was difficult for the member of the 2014 Freshman All-America team.

Mike Casazza of CBS Sports.com notes that Askew-Henry has been a dervish at the Mountaineers’ early practices. Considering his departure last season, it’s not surprising that Askew-Henry is taking part in every drill.

“Unless the coaches tell me, ‘Hey, Dra, you’ve got to come out,’ I’m not taking myself out,” Askew-Henry told Casazza.

Excited for return to practice

Askew-Henry tore the ACL in his left knee on Aug. 10, 2016, during the second week of WVU’s practices. He missed the entire season and spring ball this year before he was cleared for his team’s first practice at preseason camp earlier this week.

“Sunday was exciting,” said the junior from Aliquippa, Pa. “I was glad to be back with my teammates. It felt good.”

His return bodes well for an inexperienced West Virginia defense that returns only three starters.

Askew-Henry is West Virginia’s most experienced returning player with 26 career starts. And considering the explosive offenses in the Big 12, his playing acumen provides his team with a weapon to help keep other teams in check.