By Travis Stone
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen has been very pleased with his team’s performance this spring and is looking for big things this coming season.
The Mountaineers return a lot of talent on both sides of the ball but there are a few question marks surrounding positions heading into this spring.
Let’s take a look at six players to watch that could use this spring to make a name for themselves and possibly crack the Mountaineers starting lineup:
QB William Crest was a highly regarded quarterback prospect coming from Maryland but saw his freshman season cut short due to a shoulder injury.
Crest did see limited action against Towson early in the season and flashed the potential that has Mountaineer fans excited for the future.
Crest possesses the talent to give the Mountaineers a new dimension to their offense that hasn’t been around for a couple seasons; the read option.
If Crest is able to grasp the playbook and impress the coaching staff he could be given the starting position.
RB Donte Thomas-Williams came to WVU as part of the 2014 class and his credentials were well known, now Mountaineer fans will get to see those skills.
Thomas-Williams will enter the season as the third back on the depth chart but will look to make an impact immediately in the short yardage game, an area in which WVU has struggled in year’s past.
WR Lamar Parker enters this spring as a wildcard at the wide receiver position but is looking to be the next great speed receiver at WVU.
Parker was considered one of the fastest players in Florida and with the Mountaineers losing Mario Alford, Parker could step in immediately and make an impact on offense and special teams.
DL Jaleel Fields was a defensive tackle prospect from Aliquippa High School (PA) that played with Mountaineer safety Dravon Henry. Fields picked the Mountaineers over Purdue and was redshirted for 2014.
Now Fields enters the season as a projected impact player on the defensive line after the struggles that WVU endured in that area last season. Fields could see significant playing time this season and could be a big wildcard in how the Mountaineers defense improves against the run.
LB Jared Barber is coming off a torn ACL that forced him to sit out all of last season but he’s back and ready to make an impact.
Barber is very familiar with the 3-3-5 scheme and has shown the flashes to be one of the best defenders on the defensive side of the ball but his health has derailed his success at WVU.
If Barber is able to stay healthy this season then he could improve the Mountaineers defense dramatically.
CB Rasul Douglas enters this season at WVU as one of the top JUCO defenders in the country and will look to give the Mountaineers another weapon in their already talented secondary.
Douglas will look to start alongside Daryl Worley and, given the inconsistency that has plagued the Mountaineers at cornerback, could make for a fearsome duo this season.
Photos by WVU Sports, WV Metro News, Post Gazette, Digital Sports
Edited by Michael Walker