MORGANTOWN — Ten weeks into his sophomore season, West Virginia University defensive end Reese Donahue, of Ona, is showing increased athleticism. In the past three games, the Cabell Midland High School product had at least one tackle for loss, including an 11-yard quarterback sack against Baylor.
"His technique is so good," WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said. "He just battles to hold the gap. He understands our system. Just really impressed with him, really if you look at his body of work over the past couple of weeks, he has played well."
WEST VIRGINIA (6-3, 4-2 BIG 12) at KANSAS STATE (5-4, 3-3 BIG 12)
When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, Kan.
Radio: WWQB 102.3-FM
Donahue's 5.5 tackles for loss leads the previously ailing defensive line, but he said Mountaineer fans have yet to see their best play of the season.
"I think we're all starting to click now," Donahue said. "Obviously, the defense, we kind of showed it last game, that we've been improving and that we've been working on what we need to work on and I think it's finally all starting to come full circle. That's not me, I think it's the whole team."
The 6-foot-4, 263-pound Donahue has 34 total tackles this season after making only 12 as a freshman. He also has 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack and two quarterback hurries.
"I really think that a lot of the game is just understanding it," Donahue said. "Physically, I've been prepared. The coaches do a great job of getting us where we need to be physically, but the mental part of the game, it comes with time, it comes with getting reps in practice and getting reps in games. A lot of it is between the ears; a lot of it is up top.
"Without those reps in practice, in games, just taking time to study film. That is how a lot of progress happens."