MORGANTOWN. W.Va. — West Virginia true freshman Daikiel Shorts was impressive enough at second-team outside receiver his coaches gave him a shot at starting in the slot.

Allan Taylor/MetroNews

After freshman Daikiel Shorts went through one practice in the slot, Shannon Dawson beamed, “I’m more pleased with the inside receivers already.”

And Shorts impressed even more.

“In one day that kid showed he’s got the mental capacity to line up at the (inside) position and do some really good things,” beamed offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson on Friday.

You’ll recall Dawson blistering WVU’s slot receivers this week for missed blocks and sloppy patterns, transgressions he said were blatantly apparent to receivers coach Lonnie Galloway, big boss Dana Holgorsen and the underperforming players themselves.

“We film practice from three different angles,” Dawson said. “If you can’t sit there and watch and tell ‘My effort is horrible,’ then you’ve got a problem, you’re delusional.”

Enter Shorts, the newcomer from Elkton, Md., whose performance in the slot position immediately elevated Dawson’s spirits: “Put it this way: I’m more pleased with the inside receivers already.”

Shorts graduated from Eastern Christian Academy one semester early and enrolled at WVU in January, a head start he put to good use by showing coaches how easily he could comprehend the system.  Following his debut practice at inside receiver Thursday—during which time Shorts worked with first-teamers when the offense spread to a four-wide set—the coaches suggested the move was permanent.

“He didn’t have any major busts,” Galloway said. “Besides just cleaning up a little technical stuff, he did a good job.”

While most of the signing day buzz focused on four-star receiver Shelton Gibson, it is Shorts setting the standard in preseason camp.

“He’s a mature kid. He’s a smart kid. He likes to compete,” Galloway said. “He’s not afraid to stick his face in there. He doesn’t act like a freshman. He came in here hungry and he wants to play.”

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • wvajoker

    If some of you guys would stop second guessing and let the coaches coach we would be better off. I think they are more capable than you are. I don't think any of you have seen the whole picture and are judging by what you read on this rag.

  • Okey Robinson

    Man, some of you guys humor me. I'll leave it at that.

  • big tom

    really,,, we don't know who is our most important position player, the qb , yet,,, so who cares if we're still trying to figure out the slot guy.
    I sincerely hope that childress gets the start, because of his age,,,who ever gets the job,, one of the qb's will leave between childress and millard,, count on it.
    trickett isn't going anywhere, too late to transfer and learn an new system.

    I honestly think dana has picked trickett, and as for the slot, it really doesn't matter, with this depth , many will play at receiver position,,,not to worry , we have lots of quantity, but what about quality,,, that's what worries me,,, quality on defense and depth.

    • In da Stickes

      DH has recruited successfully for three years and the depth is beginning to show on both sides of the ball. I like the competition and I am not worried that he hasn't settled on his starters. He probably has and he just isn't tipping his hand. I'm down with that. Come on August 31st!

  • WVU22

    Remember that the media is a coaching tool as well.... Coaches know who the starters are at this point. Player obviously read the press...,

  • Bobby M

    This is scaring me! This far in camp and you dont know the starter SLOT yet? Its one guy this day its another guy that day or wait HEY! maybe its THIS guy! No! It's that guy! And here it goes! I cant even count how many different NAMES i've heard from the slot receivers! Come ON coaches! Lets get moving!

    • Actionbx

      If you've been following the team, Connor is transferring to a D-II school and the slot receiver Johnson is no longer on the team. So, obviously the replacements at slot were not stepping up to the job. It's not the coaches fault that this late into camp there is no true slot receiver stepping up. We'll be fine. The worry comes in jelling together and rhythm of the offense. That will be scary at first.

    • Art in Ohio

      The Mountaineer program has needed this for years. Numbers has been a problem with WVU which has been well documented in the past. With competition you come across a player who has the heart to play the game and raise the bar for other members of the team. This makes for a stronger WVU football team in the Big 12 Conference. Shorts has the heart and wants to play----guess what???---he will play on Saturdays for the old Gold and Blue.

    • Grant

      Seriously, you are worried that we don't know the starter at shot receiver? Have you heard of competition and players improving? Either you are stirring up the masses or have never been in a real competition in your life.

      • john c

        exactly this is fall camp it would WORRY me if we didnt have competition... you let the kids show what they got and today they will narrow down the starters and 2nd teamers this is how u reload....this team will suprise they dont have a tavon austin in hte bunch,, but who in hte country does?? but overall we have more offensive weapons at holgs disposal... kinda scary if they all stay healthy going to be a fun year!!

  • Jeff


  • tw eagle

    I see some good and some bad with all the depth that WVU is building . . .the best part is that there are enough motivated players on campus that the ones who "just don't get it "
    won't get their scholarships renewed the
    following year . . .the down side to this is . . .
    help me here , I don't seem to see a downside to this dilemma of having a lot
    of depth in the program . . .
    i'd recommend that these ne'er do well
    inside receivers have a 'heart to heart' with
    carswell about what happens when you
    fail to adapt to the program . . .

  • Maxxajay

    Sounds like Shorts it the type of player you reload with .... Not rebuilt with....