MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Junior running back Andrew Buie, West Virginia’s leading rusher last season with 851 yards, plans to redshirt this fall after slipping to fifth on the depth chart.

Andrew Buie

Photo by Dan Estel/All-Pro Photography

Andrew Buie ran for 851 yards in 2012, including 207 during the 48-45 Week 5 win against Texas.

With Charles Sims, Wendell Smallwood, Dreamius Smith and Dustin Garrison repping at the top four spots in the backfield, Buie will use this season “to develop mentally and physically, and we’re going to leave it at that,” according to Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen.

This would be a juncture where transfer speculation swirls, but Holgorsen said of Buie on Tuesday: “I fully expect him ready to roll in the spring.”

Buie burned Texas for 207 yards in WVU’s 48-45 win in Austin last season, but later in the season he wore down in the role of featured back. With three new signees making impressive debuts in preseason camp, Buie figured to be used in a reserve mode, but Sunday night’s release of a depth chart didn’t mention Buie at all.

“He had some decisions—some of these are decisions he makes as well,” Holgorsen said. “Did we force him to (redshirt)? No. We just felt like it was in the best interest of him and the best interest in the future of our program to save his year.”

With West Virginia’s two-deep, and potentially three-deep, expected to see action in the opener against William & Mary, the coaching staff needs to prioritize all redshirt decisions sooner than later.

With that in mind, Holgorsen said the following freshmen were slotted to redshirt: receiver Shelton Gibson, safety Isaac MacDonald, safety Malik Greaves, linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton, fullback Eli Wellman, receiver Jacky Marcellus, and offensive linemen Marcell Lazard, Tyler Tezeno and Grant Lingafelter.

Holgorsen was uncertain about the status of linebacker Darrien Howard, who arrived on campus only Friday after being cleared by the NCAA. “He doesn’t look like he’s ready to play, but we have not been able to have one day with him in pads, so I don’t know where he’s at.”

In addition, two junior college signees—Spur linebacker d’Vante Henry and offensive lineman Stone Underwood—also are planning to redshirt, though Holgorsen said “redshirts could get pulled” if injuries necessitate.

“Which means the program’s in pretty good shape depth-wise,” Holgorsen said. “I didn’t want to play 12 to 15 freshmen last year, and I think our depth is better than it was. So it’s gong to enable us to be able to redshirt some guys.”

Kevin White and Mario Alford, two junior college transfers who are anticipated to be high-impact receivers, are questionable for the opener with foot problems, Holgorsen said.

Offensive lineman Adam Pankey, who tore an ACL in the spring and was projected to be out until October, is progressing ahead of schedule, the coach said.

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  • CaptainQ

    Sad to see this happen to the kid

    • Rob

      No it isn't.

  • big tom

    this is definitely a mental issue with Buie,, but, hopefully this makes me feel a transfer is not in the cards.
    I don't see his chances much better next yr. unless he out works his competition'
    I like this coaching staff, maybe the best ever.
    I don't ever expect wvu to be world beaters, but we could have some 8-4 seasons and mayb e a 9-3,,, we just will find it hard to out recruit the big 12,, texas football is like nothing else and most of these guys stay in state if they can, then onto okla and Kansas
    let's hope we can step up our recruiting, if not, we could easily be a bottom feeder for the big12

  • tw eagle

    white and alford's foot problems probably stem from coach Holgerson pussyfooting
    around . . .their ailment might be better classified as 'oakieitis ' ... not wanting to give Oklahoma any film on the new deep weapons in the WVU inventory.

  • Little Mo


    • WVWho

      What football player doesn't like a Little time with Mary J?

  • Little Mo

    off field the problem...

  • Mitch

    @ Big Larry,

    Take this to the bank. You haven't got a clue.

  • Big O

    Shell will be the starting back for next season........Big Larry needs to go back to being a Marshall fan and STFU....

  • Little Mo

    Inside sources told me he on the stuff...

    • BH

      Take your slanderous gossip to topix.

  • Big Larry

    There seems to be a lot of problems developing this early in the season...

    Take this to the bank and cash it in:

    Buie is gone as well as QB Ford Childress. The handwriting is on the wall.

    Look for the Mountaineers to go 5-7 and Holgorsen to move on....

  • john

    Can't believe Buie is behind Garrison on the depth chart.

    • Chet Ubetcha

      Garrison was the better running back when healthy, faster and shifter with better hands. Although he is smaller than Buie, I am definitely not surprised him below Garrison. I am surprised to see true freshman Wendell Smallwood ahead of all but Sims, must have some skills

  • chad

    Pure speculation here but it makes me wonder if Buie is considering a position change.

    • Bobby M

      Hey Friend! Thats not likely FOR any reason! Think ABOUT it! We've got the WRs shored up and we've got slotbacks in the camp with shorts and alford. So where would HE go then??? What? Your gonna move HIM to defense? That wont happen either!

      Doesnt matter either way because its almost kickoff time! Your speculations for him WILL be answered next year! Now - its time TO start it up!!! And ROCK and ROLL! Kickoff coming shortly!

  • mauldawg

    I trust Holgorsen and the staff to do what is best for the team. I am sure most of the players are ok with being give the RS this year. I feel Gibson was hurt and must not be ready to go. Not sure about Buie but sounds like he came to camp not ready to play. Not sure if he took for granted his play from last year as a sign of having the job this year. If Buie is ok with it than I am also. Looks like team depth has a lot to do with most of the RS given out. This is a good sign that last years freshman came to camp hungry for more playing time this year. Just trust the coach and his staff. They see these guys day in and day out. Cant wait for Saturday to get here.

  • tw eagle

    saving buie a year of eligibility is a nice move . . .but the depth at rb won't get any thinner next year . . .i'm assuming the refugee from the pitt program is here and will be eligible to play next year . . .in the backfield , buie would seem to still be number 5 , barring injuries . . .i'm gonna jump to a big conclusion and say buie is being given time to adjust to playing on the D side of the football . . .bulk up and he's a safety , learn the footwork and he's a corner . . .

    • chad

      I'm thinking inside reciever