WVU has 27 players in their last season during 2015, and 13 on are offense:
- QB – Paul Millard
- TE/FB – Garrett Hope
- TE/FB – Cody Clay
- TE/FB – Darrien Arndt
- RB – Dustin Garrison
- RB – Andrew Buie
- WR – K.J. Myers
- WR – Jordan (Squirt) Thompson
- OL – Stone Underwood
- OL – Russell Haughton-James
- OL – Marquis Lucas
- P – Nick O’Toole
- LS – John DePalma
I do not believe anyone is worried about WVU’s defense going into the 2015 season. They should indeed be loaded. I believe the biggest concerns are on WVU’s offense.
As I’m sure most fans do, I believe the quarterback situation going into 2015 will be Dana Holgorsen’s best since he arrived at WVU.
Although Paul Millard is the senior, he would not be expected to compete for the starting position but could be a steady back-up. The same probably holds true for Skyler Howard.
Neither of the two Preferred Walk-ons, Storm McPherson and Austin Hensley, are expected to be a factor going into spring. The competition will likely come down to William Crest, Chris Chugunov and David Sills.
All three appear to be very talented and athletic QBs, and any one of them could prove to be special.
The same cannot be said about the offensive line, receivers, and to a lesser extent the running backs.
Offensive Line: Some improvement should be expected. I believe the OL will still struggle with run blocking, with significant improvement in 2016 and especially 2017. There is very little indication of the talent level being quite there yet.
Running Backs: Dontae Thomas-Williams may be the starter due to Rushel Shell’s lack of consistency, and I’m not sure he can compete with Thomas-Williams’ size, strength and speed. The same could be said of Wendell Smallwood. Both lack the power and break away speed needed to become a feature back.
Last year there was speculation about TE/FB Elijah Wellman being the next Owen Schmitt. He may very well get more carries in the red zone, and especially short yardage situations.
With Thomas-Williams and Wellman, and add in some Wendell Smallwood and Andrew Buie, WVU could have a better running game than many anticipate. This would especially be true with any improvement in the effectiveness of the offensive line.
Wide Receivers: The incoming recruits bring some much need talent that could help out here. The key is learning Holgorsen’s offense, but the biggest question is who will step-up and be the leaders?
We can expect to see Jordan Thompson and Daikiel Shorts leading the way at inside receiver, and we know Wendell Smallwood will also see substantial playing time there.
The question comes down to replacing White and Alford on the outside. Shelton Gibson should be in the lead heading into spring, but who else has the talent and drive to answer the call?
Could it be a current player, or one of the new recruits? The Mountaineers will need at least 3 quality outside receivers going into the season. Who are your picks?