If you followed WVU football in ’05-’07, chances are you were a fan of a big punishing fullback that was so physical he bent face masks. His name was Owen Schmitt. He represented the very definition of the West Virginia work ethic.
Schmitt was a consensus fan favorite who’s legends of lifting automobile’s and leaping buildings in a single bound still exists in Morgantown.
Would WVU ever have a another player come along that could fill the shoes of a legend forever known as ‘The Runaway Beer Truck”?
Mountaineer fans, the time may be now. He’s here and has already seen playing time during his r-freshman year in 2014. Hailing from Wayne County, West Virginia, I give you Elijah Wellman.
Different career paths brought them to Morgantown, with Schmitt transferring from Div. III Wisconsin-River Falls his sophomore year in 2005, while Wellman is an in-state recruit from Spring Valley High School in Wayne County, now in his r-soph year.
Although their paths to Morgantown are opposite, that is where many differences end. Both showed up at nearly 6’2″ 240 lbs at the start of their sophomore years
Both were and are punishing runners and blockers that seek out contact. Both display tremendous athletic ability and exceptional ball skills. This combination of size, physicality and athleticism is an invaluable weapon in any offense. Keep an eye on #28 this year, Mountaineer fans.
Some of you may have already seen flashes of what the coaches hope is to come. In 2014, his catch out of the backfield against Alabama and his crash down block of the left side of the Baylor defense during a short yardage touchdown were highlight plays.
By moving him to the backfield, the Mountaineers apparently believe Elijah Wellman is just getting started. The bruising style of play Mountaineer Nation loves may be back and he’s home grown.