Linebacker Tony Fields is in what could be his final go around on a college football team, and he’s trying to make the most of it.
Having been ejected in the first half of last week’s game against Texas Tech for targeting, Fields was out to try and make up for lost time Saturday against Kansas State.
“What I told my father as soon as the game was over last week was ‘They took three quarters away from my senior year,’” Fields said. “I felt like I was robbed, so that’s what I went into this game with. I had an extra chip on my shoulder because I lost three quarters away from my senior year.”
Fields took to the turf at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday and proceeded to turn in the best performance of his young WVU career. The senior ended the afternoon with a team-high 15 tackles — his fourth game this season with nine or more tackles. West Virginia ultimately defeated K-State 37-10.
Fields currently leads the defense with 53 total tackles; defensive back Alonzo Addae is in a somewhat distant second with 43.
Fields says that the unit’s success comes in part from the mindset put forth by co-defensive coordinators Jordan Lesley and Jahmile Addae.
“I run to the ball and I try to be a part of every tackle on the field,” Fields said. “That’s how we should play as football players, and that’s what coach Lesley and coach Addae and our whole defensive staff are putting to us — they want everybody to run to the ball. With that, you have a lot of guys that tend to touch the ball.”
The other part, at least personally for Fields, is the ability to remain consistent.
Fields, who transferred to West Virginia this offseason, was a three-year starter at the University of Arizona and was consistently a top defender in the Pac-12 Conference.
During the 2019 season, Fields ranked second on the Wildcat defense with 94 total tackles. He also finished second the year prior, ending with 89 tackles in 2018.
When Fields announced that he was looking for a new home this offseason, West Virginia quickly shot up the top of his list. Despite playing on a different coast of the country with a different coaching staff and new teammates, it has been business as usual for Fields.
West Virginia’s defense has been firing on all cylinders this season, even recently achieving the nation’s No. 1 ranking. Fields’ addition has been paramount to the unit’s success.