West Virginia's defense is trying to integrate a number of newcomers into its scheme this season, but those aren't the only players who are working to get familiar with new roles on that side of the ball. Hershey McLaurin, who played most of the 2022 season at free safety, with some cat safety and third down packages mixed in, is listed at the spear this preseason. That marks a second consecutive off-season of change, with the first coming last year when he came to WVU from Jones County Junior College, where he played a more traditional deep safety for the Bobcats.
Faced with the transition challenges that every juco player encounters when coming to the upper tier of Division I, McLaurin acquitted himself well in his first year at WVU, earning two starts (one at cat and one at free) while recording 45 tackles on the season. He also produced big plays and showings, including a recovery of WVU's blocked punt against Pitt and a team-high eight tackles against Kansas, but he believes he has much more to contribute in 2023.