MORGANTOWN. W.Va. — During Monday’s news conference, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen announced that junior college transfer Stone Underwood has shifted from center to guard and might utilize a redshirt season.
Underwood was signed last February out of Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College with the anticipation of competing at the center spot vacated by four-year starter Joey Madsen.
Unable to enroll until summer, however, Underwood missed out on the spring reps that went to redshirt freshmen Tyler Orlosky and Tony Matteo. With Orlosky currently looking like the clear-cut No. 1 at center and WVU needing another body at guard, Underwood was moved.
“It’s tough to come in at center without a spring practice, without a year under your belt,” Holgorsen said. “Physically the game’s different here than what he’s used to, and then you have the added pressure of making the calls, the added pressure of snapping, and it’s hard.
“He’s got a redshirt year, and we may use it. Don’t know yet—we’ll figure that out down the road.”
Outside linebacker Garrett Hope has shifted to fullback, where he’s slotted behind starter Cody Clay and true freshman Ellijah Wellman.
“Eli Wellman’s doing really good, adjusting to the game pretty good,” Holgorsen said. “But he’s much like Cody (Clay), where you tell him to block back on the defensive end and he’ll do it 48 times in a row for you and crack his head open if you let him.
“We moved Garrett there to be able to alleviate some of that.”
Hope, who was competing with Brandon Golson at the Buck linebacker, played in 12 games as a true freshman last season and made 14 tackles—six of those in the Pinstripe Bowl loss to Syracuse.