At the conclusion of each football season, the staff at Mountaineer Maven recognizes the best players on West Virginia's roster by handing out 11 different awards. The winners of the 5th Annual Mountaineer Maven Awards will be announced throughout the week.
This 5th winner of the Mountaineer Maven Bruce Irvin Award (best pass rusher) is true freshman Akheem Mesidor, becoming the first true freshman to ever win the award.
Coming into the season, Mesidor was expected to have a fairly limited role. Starting defensive ends Jeffery Pooler Jr. and Dante Stills were returning from the 2019 season, making for a tough path to playing time for the young freshman.
After the first couple of games of the season, the West Virginia coaching staff knew that they couldn't keep him off the field. It didn't take long for him to get acclimated to the speed of the college game as he had nine tackles, two tackles for loss, and two sacks in just the first three games of the season. His coming-out party came against Kansas, a game in which he finished with six tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and registered two sacks on back-to-back plays.
Mesidor ended the season with 32 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and led the team with five sacks. There's no question that Mesidor will be a huge part of West Virginia's defense over the next 2-3 years.
2016: Noble Nwachukwu
2017: Ezekiel Rose
2018: David Long Jr.
2019: Dante Stills
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