DALLAS -- Daryl Worley was visibly annoyed, not by the question, but by the memory it evoked.
“Against Texas, there was a miscommunication,” the West Virginia cornerback recalled. “I didn’t get the call and they ended up scoring. If it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t have even went into overtime. It’s a team mistake, but the way I look at it, it was my mistake.”
Worley’s calm, cool demeanor while answering the question masked the fire behind his eyes as he spoke. The sophomore went on to say the play still sticks with him.
His determination, high expectations for himself and exceptional physical talent are just a few of the reasons Worley could be one of the Big 12’s breakout performers in 2014. Worley started five games and played in 11 as a true freshman in 2013, finishing with 45 tackles (36 solo).
“Coming in I had high expectations and I definitely did not fulfill all of them,” Worley said. “That’s just me, even if I feel like I did my best, deep down, I don’t think I did my best.”
Teammates noticed Worley could be an impact player as he stepped on campus.
“He attacked the weight room, he attacked the film room, you would have thought he’d been here five years,” receiver Kevin White said. “He definitely had the right mindset.”
Heading into 2014, the Big 12 could see a different, much-improved version of Worley.
“I feel like a completely different person,” Worley said about the difference from last year to this year. “[I went] from not knowing what to expect to being a student of the game and trying to perfect everything, studying so much and try to be perfect.”
WVU is going to need Worley to take his game to another level this fall. At 6-foot-1, 198 pounds, Worley has the size, skills and mental makeup to become one of the Big 12’s top cover men this fall.
“He's one of the better cover guys that I've seen,” coach Dana Holgorsen said. “And he's only going into his second year on our team.”
White, as a player who battles Worley on a consistent basis in practice, knows the cornerback’s potential.
“He’s going to be a heck of a player for us, we’re looking to him to make big-time plays,” White said. “He’s big, he’s quick, he has catch-up speed, [going against him] is hard, even if you’re a big receiver. He can be on an island by himself and that side will be shut down.”
After falling short of expectations a year ago, Worley has high expectations for himself as a sophomore, and if he takes his game to another level this fall his goals should be within reach.
“I want to contend for the Jim Thorpe trophy,” he said. “If a play needs to be made, I want to be the guy that makes it.”