MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — For the final 10 minutes of Monday’s viewing session, the media glimpsed West Virginia in an uptempo scrimmage that featured the first-string offense against the first-string defense, and subsequently the second-string units facing off as well.

There was much scribbling and rubbernecking as reporters sought to note every jersey number before the sneak preview ended. After all, the Mountaineers’ coaches have been reluctant to admit a depth chart even exists, much less to comment on it.

So without further ado, here were the position-holders as of 5:20 p.m. on a Monday afternoon splashed with sun and clarity:

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback: Clint Trickett
My two cents: The Florida State transfer is smart and never goes anywhere without his “presence,” but he’s more than a brain in shoulder pads. The junior can sling it a little bit, as he showed on a couple nice rollout throws. He also checked away from a play or two, displaying none of that new-guy-trying-to-get-a-grasp vibe. Still, given Dana Holgorsen’s cagey nature, who knows if “Trick Daddy” truly is the frontrunner or simply the QB who got the shoulder tap Monday.

Allan Taylor/MetroNews

For-real frontrunner or merely starter for a day? All we know is Clint Trickett took snaps with the first-string offense Monday.

Running back: Charles Sims
My two cents: No stunner here. He’s versatile, experienced and finishing plays like a player hungry just to make that squad. (Has Tony Levine recovered from the shock yet?)

Offensive line (left to right): Quinton Spain, Mark Glowinski, Tyler Orlosky, Marquis Lucas and Curtis Feigt
My two cents: This is the starting five we’ve been reporting and speculating on since the second day of camp.

Inside receivers: Mario Alford and Cody Clay
My two cents: Don’t expect Clay to catch 110 passes this season, but the coaches rave about his never-ending effort and they won’t hesitate to flex him from fullback to the slot. Alford’s wheels have quickly become revered, though his hands let him down on a sideline drop that drew some choice words from Holgorsen standing all the way across the field. (Yes, Dana has a voice that plays sideline-to-sideline.) Wondering about Jordan “Squirt” Thompson? He sat out the contact portion of Monday’s practice in a green jersey, which was an upgrade from the red jersey he wore last Thursday when his left arm was in a sling. The news on Dante Campbell wasn’t as promising: He remained dressed in red 48 hours after receivers coach Lonnie Galloway speculated that the sophomore might not be catching any passes for a while.

Outside receivers: Ronald Carswell and KJ Meyers
My two cents: Where in the world was Kevin White, the guy who just wants to be a dog? Well on Monday the dog was in a green jersey dealing with an unknown injury. If White gets healthy soon—and he moved OK during the non-contact portion of practice—he’ll almost certainly be in the lineup Aug. 31, which could push Carswell inside.

FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE
Defensive ends: Will Clarke and Eric Kinsey
My two cents: Clarke has long been bona fide, but Kinsey is just coming into his own and may be the most improved player in camp after playing in 13 games as a true freshman.

Nose tackle: Shaq Rowell
My two cents: Nothing surprising to see here. Just a 305-pound senior who surely must be WVU’s largest anthropology major.

Allan Taylor/MetroNews

Sam I ain’t? Isaiah Bruce lined up at the outside Star linebacker Monday, not the inside spot he manned for 94 tackles last season.

Outside linebackers: Brandon Golson and Isaiah Bruce
My two cents: Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson was jonesing to see Golson at the Buck three months before the dude arrived on campus, and so far, the Georgia Military College transfer has not disappointed. The curious part was Bruce lining up at the Star after spending last season playing inside, and playing it rather well with 94 tackles.

Inside linebackers: Nick Kwiatkoski and Doug Rigg
My two cents: A former high school safety, Kwiatkoski is a redshirt sophomore who seems comfortable at the Will. Rigg is a senior with 18 starts behind him, though we anticipated him playing behind Bruce this season at the Sam spot. Maybe Rigg was in the lineup because Bruce shifted outside. Maybe Rigg was there because Jared Barber wore a green jersey. Maybe Rigg simply earned the spot the old-fashioned way. The next couple weeks will tell.

Cornerbacks: Travis Bell and Ishmael Banks
My two cents: After being lauded by Holgorsen earlier Monday, Banks figured to surface with the first unit. That he was joined by Bell is a little surprising in that the converted safety has made the climb after only 10 practices at cornerback.

Safeties: Darwin Cook and Karl Joseph
My two cents: Chalk.

SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback: Paul Millard
My two cents: Again, let’s be careful not to read too much into Millard coming out with the 2′s or Ford Childress being the third QB to take a snap. Tuesday’s practice could bring a complete reversal.

Running back: Dreamius Smith
My two cents: Sturdy blocker, powerful runner, deceptive speed to turn the edge and better-than-advertised as a pass-catcher. Only Texas and Baylor may have a better backup running back in the Big 12.

Offensive line (left to right): Pat Eger, Russell Haughton-James, Tony Matteo, Stone Underwood and Nick Kindler
My two cents: Twice in the past 10 days Eger discussed working only at guard, so of course he lined up at left tackle Monday. The junior college transfer Underwood was the backup right guard after falling to a distant third in the competition at center.

Outside receivers: Terrance Gourdine and Daikiel Shorts
My two cents: Is the fifth-year senior Gourdine the ultimate late-bloomer, having appeared in a paltry three college games, all at Eastern Michigan back in 2010? And how about the true freshman Shorts making a cameo with the second unit? Lest we forget, Holgorsen started two true freshmen receivers last season.

Allan Taylor/MetroNews

True freshman Shelton Gibson ran with second-string offense at inside receiver.

Inside receivers: Shelton Gibson and Devonte Mathis
My two cents: Gibson looks like the real deal despite being fresh out of high school. And unlike Shorts, he wasn’t here for spring practice.

SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE
Defensive end: Noble Nwachukwu and Dontrill Hyman
My two cents: Hyman is a physical specimen who’s being slowed somewhat by his rawness. A second-teamer on Aug. 12 could be a dominant force by Oct. 12.

Nose tackle: Christian Brown
My two cents: Another big-bodied tackle who has a promising upside after butting heads with defensive line coach Erik Slaughter as a freshman. When Rowell chugs to the sideline wheezing, Brown shouldn’t reveal much drop-off.

Outside linebackers: Dozie Ezemma and Hodari Chritian
My two cents: Ezemma is a non-recruited former walk-on who loves to rush the passer. Christian is a true freshman who had offers from Big Ten, Big East and ACC programs. Wes Tonkery (green jersey) almost certainly will be in the two-deep once he’s back at practice.

Inside linebackers: Sean Walters and Al-Rasheed Benton
My two cents: The redshirt freshman Walters was a high school safety who still looks a tad slender for the inside at 215 pounds. Benton is a true freshman who has the thick lower body of a guy who’s been playing inside linebacker at the college level for several years. Junior Jewone Snow (red jersey) was sidelined again. He played in only four games in 2012 before being shelved by a shoulder injury.

Cornerbacks: Avery Williams and Brodrick Jenkins
My two cents: I presumed the senior Jenkins would be rolling with the first unit, but if cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell is to be believed, this rotation is far from settled. It’s good to see Williams has recovered from the neck injury that sidelined him last season.

Safeties: K.J. Dillon and Jarrod Harper
My two cents: Dillon is integral because he will be counted on in WVU’s nickel and dime packages.

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Comments

  • Bradly Lester

    I trul

  • BigBadJohnHenry

    What is this talk about having more leadership this year from the QB position than they had last year?? Whats up with that?? Already throwing Geno Smith under the bus??

    • RCS

      Dana never said Genos name or leadership from a position. He said the team OVERALL lacked the leadership needed to over the stuggles they were having.
      Profottball Talk wrote an article assuming they were talking about Geno and the story has been over blown.

  • Big Larry

    1. Holgorsen is not one who cares about player's feelings. He wants to win whatever the cost. The coaches know what they are looking for. They have a special criteria for selecting a QB. They will select what player they feel is the best. And, if he does not work out, they have two more able QB's to go to.

    2. Great Job Allan! This article and the video was very informative.

    3. I am still staying with my 5-7 prediction for this season. I hope I am wrong and Holgorsen can work some magic. If we finish 7-5 it will be a good season.

    4. William.....Love your Work!

    5. I wont be attending any games but I will be watching them all at home in my trailer cheering on the Mountaineers. I have a Big Screen 32 inch TV that I stream the games from the internet. With a large bag of cheese puffs and a 2 liter of Coke Zero I am all set.

    6. That's all I got....

  • GridironGladiatorI'mNot

    Just a thought. Is it safe to assume that any QB competition is generally 75 percent confidence and 25 percent ability? I would say it is in Holgorsen's system. Look at the caliber of QB's he has produced wth his system on a regular basis. Whoever gets the starting job should be able to produce well. I would prefer the confidence guy first though.

  • wvrazorbk

    What about the RBs. Are all of the returning backs going to be on the bench??????

  • rekterx

    The thing about Ford Childress is that people love to say his name. They have a deep desire to say that "Ford Childress" is our starting quarterback. It just rolls off the tongue.

    • Geno

      Hes got a good name for a QB probably easier to market too if he turned out to be pretty good kinda like Geno was, Trickett works well too though. but imaging the Ford logos we will see on fan signs due to his name

    • chad

      who gives a crap? Can he run the offense? My guess is no

  • Geno

    This has to be between Trickett & Ford if Paul gets the nod I will be pretty disappointed I feel bad for him but dont think he will ever see the field as a starter for WVU, between the spring game and the playing time hes gotten and what you read by this point he with as much time as he has had in this offense he should be way ahead of the other two but is not and hasn't impressed in the little time you seen him, I more interested in Sims & Smith pushing Buie & Garrison out of the #1 & #2 spot at RB which really is not that surprising, and to see how the WR shake out with all the talent we got there.

  • Jeff James

    Just a side note if you guy's have been following it was stated before that two QB's would get most if not all of the snaps (50%) each on any given day then the other QB would get his (50%) the next day with one of the other falling off. At the end of the preseason they would all have the same snaps and would have had the same chance to win the job! Go EERS

  • RCS

    Wait I thought Trickett was a Sr.?
    Is he a jr in Grad School?

  • Maxxajay

    I want the best to start , who ever he is .is it not suppose to work that way ... No favors here means everyone has to work harder ,, makes the team better. Who dose start at QB we have him for two years or more. I don't see any problem ... What I see is a very good TEAM ... May the best man win....

  • bva24

    Everyone seems so obsessed and worried that Childress might leave. What has this guy proven? If he's as good as everyone here thinks he is, he would have distanced himself from Paul Millard a real long time ago. If he was that good, Clint Trickett would probably be at Auburn.

  • cutty77

    I guess everyone missed it. Did you not hear where Childress took 45 snaps in pratice. Childress is One,Millard two,an Trickett three.and last but not,least William is in charge of The Water Boys. lol

    • Jay

      LOL^^^^ no WAY Trickett is 3rd in this battle.

      • cutty77

        Millard has been here 3 yrs,Childress for 2 yrs,an Trickett for 15 minutes. If he is as good as you think he is,he would of never left FSU.

  • DoubleD

    If this is the case Childress will be gone. Can we afford to lose him since he is supposed to know this scheme all to well.I hope not!

    • Mac

      I'm sure Childress will pass Millard up in time. Assuming this all wasn't just DH pranking the media, or pushing some guys to step up.

  • richard

    one big mess???? lmao. glad you're in the know.

    • Mac

      He posts that exact same comment on every story about WVU football.

  • big tom

    i just hoped childress would be good enough to be the starter,,,, shame if this isn't true

    • William

      Quarterback controversy will end up been a big mess for this football season! Which one will transfer? Which one will be upset? Which one will ride the bench? BY MID SEASON IT WILL BE ONE BIG MESS!

      • Kevin

        Wow. Same exact post from several days ago, right down to the all caps. Should rename yourself CutnPaste.

        Your stuff is old. Get some new material. And, if you don't have something good to say, just go away.

      • Barry

        I don't understand how depth and competition is "ONE BIG MESS".

        • Art in Ohio

          This is a good mess to be in. Competition will make this steam stronger for now and in the future. Major problem with this program has been numbers at each position. Now it looks like that problem has been solved. How good we are going to be is another question but we are going in the right direction. I hope to see several players in and out of the game at each position---as Forest Gump would say--that's a good thing.

          Allen, keep up the good work and I will continue to read and respond to you articles.

      • rdl

        Sounds like controversies that most college football teams have at certain positions every year. Why would it be different here???

      • Michael

        I'll bet Will i am never played a down of footbal in his/her life. Competition breeds better players. Also, if you played ball at all your position would have been T-Back....you're the guy/gal who rushes the field after kick offs and brings the Tee Back. Thanks for your insight.