MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Mountaineers finished up spring drills this past Saturday with the annual Blue-Gold spring game. A lot of questions still linger for West Virginia: the quarterback competition is anything but decided, but the offensive line looks better than last year’s group. However, it’s just spring practice, and no one knows just how much better the Mountaineers will be until they kick things off August 30 in Atlanta against Alabama.
At quarterback, Clint Trickett sat out of spring drills after receiving offseason surgery. Paul Millard is the veteran of the group entering his senior season and has demonstrated moderate improvement this spring. However, it’s hard for Mountaineer fans to believe that he is the answer to the team’s quarterback questions. Junior college transfer Skylar Howard has looked up and down so far, likely due in large part to him adjusting to the speed of FBS football and learning the playbook. Freshman William Crest will arrive on campus this summer, giving head coach Dana Holgorsen an opportunity to see if Crest has what it takes to compete for the starting spot.
The running back position looks to be the deepest on the team, as five players have had significant playing time against D-1 competition. Andrew Buie, Dustin Garrison, Dreamius Smith, and Wendell Smallwood have all seen significant action in the backfield in Morgantown. Rushel Shell, a transfer from Pitt, has also been competing for playing time, making the backfield at West Virginia perhaps one of the deepest in the nation.
The slot receiver position looks like it’s in good hands with Dakiel Shorts, Mario Alford, and Jordan Thompson. However, questions are still lingering at the outside receiver positions. Kevin White had a touchdown catch in the spring game, but outside of White, no one has stood out from the rest of the pack.
The defense looks improved from last season, but lets be honest, it really couldn’t get much worse. Every position appears deeper, especially in the secondary. Daryl Worley has the look of a potential a shutdown corner in the Big 12, while safeties K.J. Dillon and Karl Joseph appear primed to have a great season.