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WVU Backfield Carrying Load

The West Virginia University football team wrapped up spring practice No. 9 on Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium smallwoodand the open practice saw the offense get the better of the defense on this day.

One position change of note came with inside wide receiver Daikiel Shorts moving to the outside position joining Shelton Gibson.

“He’s a good playmaker,” WVU quarterback Skyler Howard said. “I trust him to go get the ball when I put it out there. I saw some of that today. I think it’s a good change for him with his body type and the way he plays.”

With a certain level of concern at the outside wide receiver position, the Mountaineer running game will likely be leaned on once again to get the offense going.

For West Virginia running backs coach JaJuan Seider, it’s all about going out and putting in the work to get better.

“Our goal is to go out there, and if we are stalling in the outside zone, then we need to get better at running the outside zone,” Seider said. “We love having some success and some big plays. They understand that I want to see some guys do some short yardage stuff. We will get into more of that in the next few weeks. It will go back and forth. We will get more into scrimmage stuff in the next couple weeks.”

The addition of former Michigan State grad assistant Zach Hueter has provided a nice shot on the arm to the WVU offense line.

“The spring is about getting guys who are ready to step in when we need them,” WVU offense line coach Ron Crook said. “We have a bunch of hard-nosed guys who are coming out everyday and trying to get better, and that’s all we can do right now.”

“We are working and improving every day. They’re embracing it. They’re tackling and going at it. Zac Hueter, our new graduate assistant, is giving us a lot of ideas (from time at Michigan State) about stuff that they did, and it’s been great.” Crook said.

One player who will be key to the success of the Mountaineer offense is running back/inside wide receiver Wendell Smallwood, who can play both positions. With Shorts moving to the outside, the inside position will provide more opportunities for Smallwood.

“I was playing receiver today. It’s different than some days when I get more carries and some days I get no carries. I’m going to be playing a lot more slot with (junior wide receiver) Daikiel (Shorts) on the outside now.” Smallwood said.

Seider says it comes down to accountability.

“Now, we care about how they’re doing, and if we are calling the right plays, because we have to be accountable out there, too.” he said.

West Virginia will hold its second off-campus practice next Saturday at The Greenbrier in While Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

Start time is set for 12:30.




jerry McGhee
Lead recruiting analyst covering the West Virginia Mountaineers for
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