Four Mountaineers land on FWAA Freshman All-America watch list

WVU Football

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University redshirt freshmen Brandon Yates (OL) and Jared Bartlett (BAN) and true freshmen Akheem Mesidor (DL) and Zach Frazier (OL) were named to the Football Writers Association of American (FWAA) Freshman All-America Team Watch List.

This year’s FWAA Freshman All-American Team will represent the 20th year since its inception and feature a list of seven semifinalists and three finalists later this season leading up to the unveiling of the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year.

With Frazier and Yates on the offensive line, WVU is averaging 189.3 yards rushing per game and ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 25 nationally, No. 4 in the Big 12 and No. 23 nationally in passing offense, No. 3 in the Big 12 and No. 17 nationally in total offense and No. 4 in the Big 12 and No. 28 nationally in scoring offense.

Bartlett and Mesidor are vital cogs on the No. 1 defense in the nation, giving up only 240.5 yards per game. The Mountaineers rank in the Top 10 in 10 different defensive categories, including five in the Top Five. WVU also is tied for No. 1 nationally in fewest yards per play, giving up 4.05 yards per play.

Bartlett has played in four games this season and earned his first start against Kansas. He has registered nine tackles, including seven solo stops, 2.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss and has a forced fumble. His 2.5 sacks are tied for third on the team and his 4.5 tackles for loss are tied for second. His best performance of this season came against Kansas, when he had a season-high four tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss.

Frazier has played in four games at center and guard, starting three of them and logging in more than 250 offensive plays. He is one of three freshmen in the nation to log at least 250 plays on the offensive line this year and the only one to play more than one position. He leads the offensive line with nine knockdown blocks.

Mesidor has played all four games on the defensive line in 2020 and has made an immediate impact. He is the sixth leading tackler for WVU with 15, including eight solo stops, a team-leading four sacks and is tied for second on the team with 4.5 tackles for loss. His top performance was against Kansas as he finished with six tackles, including five unassisted tackles, two sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. He is ranked No. 2 in the Big 12 in sacks and No. 15 nationally and is tied for No. 6 in the Big 12 in tackles for loss.

Yates has played in four games at left tackle and started three games and logged in more than 240 offensive plays. He is second on the team, behind Frazier, with eight knockdown blocks.

West Virginia (3-1 overall, 2-1 Big 12) travels to Lubbock, Texas, to face Texas Tech (1-3 overall, 0-3 Big 12) at Jones AT&T Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m., ET, on ESPN2.

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