Jeremy Tyler, a safety out of Lithonia, Ga., announced his commitment to West Virginia, marking the first big surprise for the Mountaineers on national signing day.
At 7:43 a.m. EST, the fax machine in Morgantown buzzed and WVU instantly received an injection of quality depth to its oft-maligned secondary (via WVUSports.com).
Tyler joined Malik Greaves, a 4-star safety out of Jacksonville, Fla. according to ESPN, as the second safety in the West Virginia 2013 class.
The Martin Luther King Jr. High School product was given a 3-star rating by Rivals, and chose WVU over an impressive load of offers that included Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. He also earned a 3-star composite rating from 247sports.com.
Tyler projects to fill in at the BS position currently filled by senior Darwin Cook.
At 6'2", 195 pounds, Tyler should be able to use his range to cover at all three levels and will do well in deep coverage over the top.
The Mountaineers could certainly use his help in pass defense, which was their biggest flaw in 2012.
Sophomore Karl Joseph should have the free safety position locked down with no problem. Joseph was WVU's best defender in his freshman season last year.
Cook was expected to be one of WVU's leaders on defense, but didn't live up to those expectations.
If ya haven't done so, treat yourself to some of WVU signee Jeremy Tyler's tape.Great range/ball skills. Hits like a brick wall on wheels.— Jed Drenning (@TheSignalCaller) February 6, 2013
This offseason will be very telling about Cook's future in Morgantown, and if he doesn't show improvement, he could be passed up by Greaves, sophomore K.J. Dillon or even Tyler next season.
Greaves certainly has a leg up on Tyler in terms of playing time, since he is already enrolled and working out with the team.
Because of that, Tyler's impact may not be felt until further on down the road for the Mountaineers.
Still, there's no denying that West Virginia is in need of help in its secondary.
Tyler's early-morning commitment will provide that help and the crucial depth that head coach Dana Holgorsen has been looking to add on the defensive end.