Linebacker Tony Fields made his debut in a West Virginia uniform against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, and he showed why he was one of the top defenders for the Arizona Wildcats over the last three years.
Fields led the Mountaineers with 10 total tackles — including 4 solo stops — as the WVU defense held EKU to just 10 points and 206 yards. That earned the Las Vegas native the defensive player of the week award from his head coach.
“I thought he flew around and played at a really high speed,” said Neal Brown.
Fields joins the Mountaineers after an extensive career with Arizona, starting all 37 games of his career there and earning two Freshman All-American honors in 2017. In three seasons, he amassed 287 tackles, which places him 21st all-time in the Wildcats’ record book.
With an extensive resume in the college game like that, Brown knew exactly what he was getting out of Fields.
“He plays with a lot of energy,” Brown said after Saturday’s game. “He brings a speed element to the defense that we probably haven’t had in my two years here.”
Of course, there have been — and still are — growing pains as Fields learns the scheme and culture at West Virginia. That is more than made up for, however, by the intensity at which he plays the game.
“He plays full speed, he loves contact,” Brown added. “Loves contact, loves to play, and is only going to continue to get better — the better an understanding he has of what we’re doing. But he flies around.”
According to Brown, the ceiling is very high for Fields.
“He’s an NFL prospect,” he said. “I mean, he’s gonna play in the NFL.”