James Lang-USA Today Sports

After rejoining the team this summer, West Virginia senior Ivan McCartney is currently listed as a starter at outside receiver.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — At 8:24 p.m. on Sunday night, a mere six days before the season opener and only 36 minutes before a suspenseful homestretch episode of “Breaking Bad,” West Virginia released its updated football depth chart.

It did not clear up the starting quarterback mystery, listing juniors Paul Millard and Clint Trickett as co-leaders, with Ford Childress in the No. 3 slot. More clarity on that position battle could come Monday morning when Dana Holgorsen joins the Big 12 coaches teleconference or Tuesday when addresses the local scribes or Saturday when the offense runs its first play against William & Mary.

Recall Holgorsen said the staff planned to make its decision by Aug. 17 for the sake of prioritizing practice reps for the starter, so the internal decision is probably more clear-cut than this depth chart reveals. Perhaps Holgorsen is trying to keep Oklahoma’s staff from honing in on one guy, suspecting the Sooners might begin WVU preparations this week instead of focusing entirely on its opener against Louisiana-Monroe.

What the depth chart did provide was several notable surprises, at least surprising to those of us who watched two live scrimmage situations during preseason camp. Here’s the complete chart with starters in bold and my observations posted below:


WR (X)—Ivan McCartney (Sr.)
Ronald Carswell (So.)

LT— Quinton Spain (Jr.)
Nick Kindler (Sr.)

LG—Marquis Lucas (So.) or Pat Eger (Sr.)

C—Tyler Orlosky (r-Fr.)
Tony Matteo (Fr.)

RG—Mark Glowinski (r-Jr.)
Russell Haugton-James (So.)

RT—Curtis Feigt (Sr.)
Marcell Lazard (Fr.)

IR (Y)—Daikiel Shorts (Fr.)
Devonte Mathis (r-Fr.)

WR (Z)—K.J. Myers (So.)
Kevin White (Jr.)

QB—Paul Millard (Jr.) or Clint Trickett (r-Jr.)
Ford Childress (r-Fr.)

HB—Cody Clay (r-So.)
Garrett Hope (So.)

RB—Charles Sims (r-Sr.)
Wendell Smallwood (Fr.)
Dreamius Smith (Jr.)
Dustin Garrison (Jr.)



DT—Will Clarke (r-Sr.)
Noble Nwachukwu (r-Fr.) or Kyle Rose (So.)

NT— Shaq Rowell (Sr.)
Christian Brown (So.)

DE—Eric Kinsey (So.)
Dontrill Hyman (Jr.) or Kyle Rose (So.)

LB (Spur)—Isaiah Bruce (r-So.)
Marvin Gross (Fr.)

LB (Sam)—Jared Barber (Jr.) and Doug Rigg (Sr.)
Sean Walters (r-Fr.)

Allan Taylor/MetroNews

Mountaineers sophomore Nick Kwiatkoski is working as the starter at the Will inside linebacker.

LB (Will)—Nick Kwiatkoski (r-So.)
Tyler Anderson (r-Sr.)

LB (Buck)—Brandon Golson (Jr.)
Dozie Ezemma (r-Sr.)

CB (Boundary)—Travis Bell (r-Jr.)
Avery Williams (r-So.) or Brodrick Jenkins (r-Sr.)

CB (Field)—Ishmael Banks (r-Jr.)
Darryl Worley (Fr.)

S (Free)—Karl Joseph  (So.)
K.J. Dillon (So.)

S (Bandit)—Darwin Cook (r-Sr.)
Ricky Rumph (So.)



K—Josh Lambert (r-Fr.)

P—Nick O’Toole (So.)
Michael Molinari (r-Jr.)

H—Michael Molinari  (r-Jr.)
Nick O’Toole (So.)

LS—John DePalma (So.)

KR—Charles Sims (r-Sr.)
Wendell Smallwood  (Fr.)

PR—Ronald Carswell  (r-So.)
Jordan Thompson (So.)


Deep ponderings on the two-deep …

What’s up with Andrew Buie? We presumed he wouldn’t win the job over Charles Sims, but now last season’s leading rusher is nowhere to be found among the top four running backs. The Texas defense must be as puzzled as we are.

Rookies making moves on offense: Buie’s absence means that not only is true freshman Smallwood among the four-man rotation, but he’s listed at No. 2, ahead of Dreamius Smith. We’ve heard about Smallwood’s burst, but those compliments often were accompanied by concerns over his blocking ability. Guess the freshman is putting some helmets on defenders after all. … Shorts became a coach’s pet on Day 1 of moving to inside receiver, so he continues acclimating. … Lazard as the backup at right tackle was a little unforeseen because we figure Kindler is actually the backup at both tackles as a swing guy.

Rookies making moves on defense: Gross running as Bruce’s backup at the Spur linebacker is a by-product of junior college recruit d’Vante Henry being sidelined for camp with “personal issues.” Athletic as Gross is, I can’t see the 197-pounder contributing much this season unless injuries necessitate. … Worley is working behind Banks and can also play in the nickel and on special teams. The defensive coaches really seem to like his progress and potential. … Not seeing Al-Rasheed Benton listed on the two-deep at inside linebacker shouldn’t be a huge cause for concern. Within the past 10 days, Holgorsen emphasized Benton projected to be one of the top freshman contributors.

Catching on: Remember when assistant coach Lonnie Galloway said somebody’s going to catch 80 passes in this system because someone always does? Well, junior college transfer Kevin White seemed to be a likely candidate, especially after showing dynamic moves in the spring game. But entering Week 1 he’s running No. 2 to Myers at the outside Z-receiver. … And how about Ivan “I Will Return” McCartney earning the nod at the opposite outside X-receiver? Looks like the kid came back to campus with a purpose.

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  • Chris

    From what I am getting, this years team is a lot more of a "team" than the previous one. No defections this year. Guys and gals...we are loaded...we are deep...and we are young...

    And we are also a national brand than ever being an east coast team in a western conference. We are certainly more recognizable as a brand nationally than OS ever was. We are biting at the heels of OK and Texas in terms of classic-ness in that storied conference. (IMG helps that image)...How dare anyone compare WVU Football to Louisville! WVU is the winningest program in the history of college football that has yet to win a National Championship. That can't go on forever, and I'd say it will happen within two, maybe three years. How's that for a rant?

  • Terry Wigfield

    I'm replying to several of the post. The couch is reporting Buie has left the team. To William and Big Tom, first you state your opinions as facts. Should have been a weatherman. Second why do you predict all the doom and gloom when one snap hasn't been taken. I believe this team will be much better than last years. No- I don't KNOW that, that's why they play the game.
    I believe the QB race is very tight but Dana has good idea who will be the man. He'll play both in W&M game so OK will not know who QB will be.
    My predictions:
    Defense will be a good to VG team this year. Coaching makes a termendous difference.
    Offense will not put up the numbers of last year as we run more and eat up more clock, less times with ball. But I believe they will be more consistent. This years offense will be as good as last.
    Special team with Joe will improve a couple of clicks. Remember the offensive play that averages the most yards is the punt. Big diff for defense. 10-2 or 9-3 this yr

  • JD

    @ big tom, are you serious? Southern Conf. ? You do know the So Con competes in the Football Championship Subdivision (1-AA), right? If WVU were still in that conference we never would have won 3 BCS bowls, nor would we have risen to the level we did in the late 80's , early 90's or mid to late 2000's like we did.

    • chad

      Never take anything little tommy says seriously. He obviously is a marshall fan

  • BigBadJohnHenry

    Before the season ends, we will see 3 WR's, 2 RB's and a QB quit and transfer. Childress, Buie, Garrison, and three take your pick recivers all quit by mid season. 4-8 in 2013.
    5-7 if they get a few bounces go their way.
    What a mess and blight this Holgorsen cat has brought down upon the WVU football program.
    I would bet $1000 today that the Big 12 is seriously regretting their decision on WVU and not taking Louisville. Louisville has a much better football, basketball, baseball, and womens basketball programs than WVU will ever have under the misguidance of one Oliver Luck, Holgorsen and Thuggins.

    • mauldawg

      Your about as big an idiot as big larry and big tom. The three of you together couldn't pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel. Go back to your MU boards where you belong. I bet you would have to sell your BHO phone and your food stamps to get $100. Last time you saw $1000 was at the bank. Go talk to doc he will take care of you.

    • DC

      Go back to bed Mrs Stew.

  • Christopher

    I still think trickett will be the starter.

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    Did you all see Tavon Austin bring back a kick off for 81 yards? Wow that was fun to watch. Go St Louis.

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    If Ford transfers he will have to sit out a year. Why would he do that unless he doesn't think he is good enough to win the job next year? Holgersen knows QBs. He knows what he is doing. I thought it would be between him and Tricket, but I was wrong. I hope Millard is a lot better than he was last year. If he isn't then Ford will move up. Can't have too many QBs. Never thought much of people that quit.

  • Gary

    I think Paul is a great kid. I hope he has really improved from last year. I know when he played last year I hoped Childress would be much better because Paul was very disappointing. Except the time he came in and tossed a TD on the first play. I agree this DC may not be a true picture of week two. I have family in Houston and they say Childress is great. I hope when he transfers it is not to a team we will play down the road. Remembering certain Maryland and Louisville QB's. Thanks Alan for all of the info.

    • big tom

      without a doubt,, childress leaves the team,,good luck buddy,,, dana certainly mishandled you

      • Shawn

        If he leaves then he leaves. Obviously Holgorsen knows about offense and QB's and he saw something in Ford that he didn't like up to this point. It's not always about throwing the ball. You have to be able to make reads, handle the game clock, know defenses, etc. Maybe thats something Ford just cant handle right now. If he leaves then Good Luck to him.

        • tw eagle

          childress has the 'numbers' to be good . . .but being 8 foot tall and throwing a football for 10 miles doesn't make you a 'winner' . . .
          track coach holgersons QB's at his
          prior jobs and you'll find athletes that possess maturity , poise , and seem
          to disdain frustration . . .pull all the
          vid clips of childress and you'll find
          an athlete that is easy going , articulate , humorous , but possesses
          a nervous edge . . .i'd say it's this
          edginess that puts coach holgerson
          off of using him as the main QB . . .
          I doubt , but highly recommend , that WVU employ a staff of sport psychologists to help the athletes overcome latent tendencies that most of us laymen couldn't even fathom . . .

      • chad

        I hope he does, he obviously sucks if he can't beat out Millard and Trickettt

  • tw eagle

    any chance buie may switch sides of the ball ? he has been characterized as a kamikaze type of player . . .this type of
    playing style ,I think , is much better
    suited to a person playing defense . . .
    definitely a "super" for the special teams . . .

  • BigDave

    I didn't realize we had so many underclassmen starting. Next year could be a very good year.

    I know, I know. Let's focus on one year at a time. Hey, I can hope, right?

  • GridironGladiatorI'mNot

    Oklahoma is starting a RS freshman (Knight) at QB instead of Belldozer. Is this an indication that they are having some major QB issues or is that guy legit? Seems as if the only two teams solid at that position are Texas and OKState. Is our level of competition at or above par with everyone else except those two? If so, we should be just fine this year on offense.

  • Brandon

    On the optimistic side, look at how many graduating seniors (or lack thereof) are on this depth chart! On offense, only 3 starters and only 5 on the two deep. ON defense, only 4 starters and only 7 on the two deep. This time next year, we're going to have A LOT of kids with a bunch of experience. Don't know about this seaason, but the future certainly seems bright! Go mounties.....

    • DC

      On paper things look good for 2014, and to the person who responded to you I disagree about the good one season have to reload for three. We are getting depth and higher rated recruits to sustain solid teams. I like where we are headed.

    • big tom

      we're back to the point where we have to rebuild instead of reload,,,, so every three or four yrs we have a pretty good team and then we collapse and have a so so team for 3 yrs... sad, we should never have left the southern conf.

  • George

    I don't see Hope being Clay's back-up for he is still learning. I do see Wellman being Clay's back-up and I also see Mario Alford being in the IR rotation. The reason for this is that Wellman is a lot like Clay, and you don't keep someone off the field with Alford's moves and speed. Also Sheldon Gibson is the fastest of the WR's and you can bet he is in that rotation.

    • Allan Taylor

      The Hope listing kind of surprised me too, considering he was working at linebacker just over two weeks ago. When WVU shifts to a four-receiver set—something Holgorsen has used frequently in the past—Alford may well be the other slot starter. Then again, with more running backs, perhaps the three-receiver set becomes the norm this season.

  • jake

    Yeah not gonna take this DC very serious. Im seeing way to many "suprises" on here. Normally there's a true freshman or two that may start or just make the 2 deep but 5 of them cracking a two deep...no way. Maybe 5 star recruits could have a chance. We'll see a true DC Week 2.

    • jake

      Excuse me.. 6 freshman on offense 2 deep! & no Alford either.

  • RCS

    I call b.s. on this.... Holgs was forced to give a depth chart and he wasn't about to tip hi s hand to OU even a little.
    I wouldn't put it past Holgs for this to be the looks he gives against W&M. But Week 2 this team will look completely different.
    This was his way of throwing bones to the guys that have performed well in camp.

    • big tom

      tip his hand??????? we play a game before the okla game,, that's gonna tell the world who our starter is,,,,, and okla has a week to figure it out????? give me a break, that's no reason at all to hold back on naming a starter...

      • Chet Ubetcha

        Since you can't read, that post you responded too says that could very well be the look he gives for this week's game but then changes it up, atleast somewhat for OU.