West Virginia opens their 2019 football campaign this Saturday, August 31 at home against James Madison.
The Mountaineers lost a ton of key players from last season and have to replace a lot of talent at several positions.
One of those positions is receiver, but what if I told you that the talent may be just as good as last year, just far more inexperienced?
It sounds crazy I know. There are no David Sills’, Gary Jennings’ or even a Marcus Simms.
There are, however, two receivers who will become household names very quickly and both sit atop the WVU depth chart for the weekend.
Go ahead and jot these names down: Sam James and Sean Ryan.
James is a burner with speed for days. Ryan is an excellent route runner, is tall and can go up and get the football at its highest point.
Watching these two will be very interesting for Mountaineer fans and once James gets his nerves out of the way, expect big things.
“They’re racing right now,” James said of his nerves for gameday.
“I’m not saying I’m scared or anything, but it’s just the fact that I’m going out there now and actually playing so they’re a little racy right now,” he said.
James is thrilled to have Ryan eligible and ready to go to prove all the doubters wrong.
“We have a lot to prove because a lot of people don’t think we’re going to be good. So just now that he is eligible, it adds more talent to the room and we can go out there and show everybody.”
The freshman receiver also believes new quarterback Austin Kendall will make his job easier.
“Since he got here, it’s gotten better because now we’re starting to click more. We’ve got the timing down with him and just able so that when we go out on the field, we are thinking the same, we’re doing the same and we’re all on the same page. It’s been great knowing he’s the starter, James said.
But it’s not just on the field where Kendall and James are working together, but off of it too.
“He will text me like, ‘are you trying to throw on the weekends,’ James said of Kendall. “So, we already got a relationship down pat.”
Even though James’ wheels are his noticeable strength, he does not want to be known as just a speed guy.
“I wanna go out there and show that I’m the overall receiver instead of just being fast. I got a lot to prove to myself, going out there and playing,” James said.
And about that other receiver, Ryan? Kendall is ready to have that target at his disposal.
“He has tremendous hands. He’s a good route runner and I think he’ll be ready to go this Saturday,” Kendall said.