MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Today launches a position-by-position examination of where the West Virginia football team stands after spring practice.
The eight-day video series runs through the two-deep—and even the four-deep in the case of that persistent quarterbacks quandary—as we look four months ahead to the Mountaineers’ 2014 opener against Alabama and Year 3 in the Big 12 Conference.
Tuesday, April 15
Defensive line: Can no-name group hold the front?
Wednesday, April 16
Linebackers: Will they be nasty or negligible?
Thursday, April 17
Secondary: Trying to reverse two dreadful years of pass defense
Friday, April 18
Special teams: Aiming to be really special in 2014?
Monday, April 21
Offensive line: Are the Mountaineers vulnerable up front?
Tuesday, April 22
Receivers: Can they get their swagger back?
Wednesday, April 23
Running backs: Is this the best unit in the Big 12?
Thursday, April 24
Quarterbacks: Can any of the current QBs win eight games?
West Virginia’s defensive line must replace two of three starters following the graduations of Will Clarke and nose guard Shaq Rowell. Defensive end Kyle Rose returns, while the most potentially dominant member of the group, Dontrill Hyman, needs to ramp up his production from a mediocre 2013. (Recall the wide-eyed enthusiasm departed coaches Keith Patterson and Erik Slaughter held for Hyman upon his arrival from junior college last summer? He certainly looked the part physically, but outside of one hellacious goal-line stop against Oklahoma State, he wasn’t as disruptive as WVU needed him to be—just 3 1/2 tackles for loss and no sacks in 12 games.)
Projected starters: Kyle Rose (6-4, 293, redshirt junior) and Dontrill Hyman (6-4, 294, senior) at defensive ends/tackle, with Christian Brown (6-3, 304, redshirt sophomore) at nose tackle.
Backups: Noble Nwachukwu (6-2, 277, redshirt sophomore) and Eric Kinsey (6-2, 268, junior) at ends, with Darrien Howard (6-2, 288, sophomore) spelling Brown. Howard, who arrived in Morgantown just 10 days before the 2013 season opener, has added about 50 pounds since starring as a linebacker/fullback at Chaminade-Julienne in Dayton, Ohio.
Watch the video at the top of the page for player highlights and to learn how Allan Taylor and Justin Hoff grade the defensive line after spring practice.