Ben Queen/WVMetroNews photo

West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood, arrested Monday in Morgantown, faces extradition to Delaware, where police say he will be charged with intimidating the witness in a 2012 murder.


WILMINGTON, Del. — Sophomore running back Wendell Smallwood, projected to be an essential component of West Virginia’s offense this fall, was arrested by campus police Monday and faces extradition to his home state of Delaware where he will be charged with witness intimidation stemming from a 2012 murder case.

Wilmington police told that Smallwood, 20, repeatedly attempted to convince a witness to recant statements implicating his friend who’s charged with first-degree murder.

WVU police declined to discuss details of Monday’s arrest, in which Smallwood was identified as an out-of-state fugitive. Campus police said chief Bob Roberts would be able to provide more information Tuesday.

Attempts by MetroNews to reach Roberts at home Monday night were unsuccessful. Authorities in Wilmington also declined to discuss Smallwood’s case with MetroNews, citing the fact he has yet to be officially charged.

Smallwood averaged 5.7 yards per carry and made 11 catches for 132 yards during a promising freshman season. His versatility drew raves from coaches and teammates during the spring, forging expectations he could fill the role occupied last season by third-round NFL draft pick Charles Sims. He also was expected to make an impact at kick returner.

“Wendell, the way he came on toward the end of the season, was probably our most-improved player throughout the year,” said West Virginia running backs coach JaJuan Seider.

The praise from offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson in recent months was more effusive: “That kid is skilled, but he’s got the mental capacity to handle a lot of different things. We’re trying to push the limits to what we can do with that kid.”

These latest events cloud his future for the 2014 season and possibly beyond.

Zakee Lloyd of Wilmington was arrested Jan. 8, 2013, and charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 51-year-old Manuel Oliveras on April 14, 2012. Lloyd continues awaiting trial, Cpl. Mark Ivey told

Ivey alleged that on multiple occasions in March and May 2013 Smallwood “called to try to get a witness to come and make a false statement to police recanting previous statements” that implicated Lloyd.

Smallwood played his first three seasons of high school ball at Red Lion Christian Academy in Wilmington. After Red Lion’s football program was dropped, Smallwood joined his coach and several teammates at Eastern Christian Academy in Elkton, Md., becoming a three-star recruit in his senior season.

The timetable for Smallwood’s return to Delaware remains unclear, though the Monongalia County prosecutor’s office said he signed his extradition papers Monday.

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  • FNP

    If he did it then he should be punished. Lets wait until all the facts come out about the case. Lets not put all our stock in internet news.

    And this type of incident doesn't make a kid a thug. I mean if you got a DUI, it doesn't mean you are an alcoholic. It just means you F'd up and need to face the consequences.

    If it turns out to be true and they press charges, then kick him off the team and move on.

    • Molon Labe

      Um, a warrant was issued, hence the "out of state fugitive". That should be enough facts to deter "internet news".

      Riding back home in irons.

  • with a friend like . .

    The company they keep:
    Shot dead in his front yard by a punk. I'm sorry, a good friend of WVU running back Wendell Smallwood.

  • TruthTeller

    How many convicts are on the Elite teams and they still get to play football. WVU can never catch a break. Somebody is always trying to take out our players. Well its a good thing WVU is deep in the running back area. Who knows by the time the Alabama game gets here there may be enough players to have a team. Who might be next? Seems like somebody is a little worried Alabama just might lose so why not make a few phone calls and see how many WVU players you can take away from the offense to give Bama
    a better chance to win?

    • Guardian

      Careful . . . your victim mentality is coming through.

  • william


  • griff

    I have always heard that "one" person does not make a team. Send him back WV does not need people that support murder

  • Bill

    How about "em brokeback mountaineers".

    • Capt. Obvious

      In our darkest day, we are still 12-0 v you.

      Stay classy, Huntington.

      • ViennaGuy

        You might be asking too much of some people. :-)

  • Rah B

    Typical doom n gloom, n more hate smh... they have enough backs. Hope Smallwood gets itironed out though. Who's gonna be the first to blame Huggins??

  • Qz Man

    Good lord. All you doom and gloomers can get bent. Smith and Shell can fill the void just fine, and Garrison and Buie will plug holes where needed. Not to mention WVU brought in Dontae Thomas Williams, so if all else fails, there's a 4 star recruit ready to go. But, I seriously doubt all else fails.

    • Mitch

      @ QZ,

      No, Smith and Shell can NOT fill the void. Smallwood is our starting Slot receiver.

  • Big Larry

    More drama and adventure from Ollie's Follies and his comedy of errors...

    Is it a sad sad day to be a Mountaineer "wherever you may be"?

    Yes...I'm afraid it is...

    • Richard

      Totally agree with you Big Larry. It will never be the same. It's all downhill from here.

      • J the C


    • jpf

      Larry the only thing sad is your pathetic life. Try stretching your welfare check out a little longer so you can remain drunk and off the internet.

    • luck sucks

      Big larry hit the nail on the head.

    • Hailey

      Larry your pathetic life is sickening...this a serious issue that Smallwood has to answer too and if he is guilty he should be gone. You truly are a low life with a green and white agenda. Hope your proud of your sad little self

      • Big Larry

        Oh Please...

        It is what it with it!

  • Capt. Obvious

    While I hope this is a misunderstanding, it does not sound good. Somehow I knew Buie would find his way back into the mix.....simply by showing up, working hard and staying away from murder cases.

  • Jim - Morgantown

    Give him a one way ticket back to Delaware, he doesn't deserve to wear the flying WV if these charges are true.

  • Shadow

    Who recruited him? A fact missing from the story. Somehow, I don't believe it was Stewart.

    • jpf

      A fact missing is you comprehension skills. They lack severely!

    • zero tolerance


  • WVU1

    There's another win or two out the window.

  • Alex

    Wow! This is not good. I remember Smallwood last year, "he was a good back."and all the talk this year how he could be very productive "5.7 YPC"....Hope someone can get this cleared up....RB problem seemed to be solved for this year.....If he can't get back on the team could be a hard blow....We need all the depth in all positions....This is not good....

    • Grant

      While it certainly isn't good news, from a football standpoint, if we can "afford" to lose someone at a position, it's at RB.

      • Mitch

        @ Grant,

        Except he's not just " a RB", he's our starting Slot Receiver, so we really can't afford to lose him.

  • Fred

    With 5.7 yards per carry he couldn't be guilty of anything. It was only a murder, anyway. Let's go Mountaineers!

    • Hman

      I is not a smoking pot charge. He would be under the jail by

      • William101

        If he is guilty and convicted, he is gone. Perhaps WVU will sever ties earlier?

        While he is a quality player, no one is above the law, and if he ends up being dismissed, he can blame it on himself.

        We're fortunate that this is our deepest spot on the team. This could open up playing time for all of our running backs, including DTW. It could also create opportunities for our slot recceivers like Jacky Marcellus.

        Life is a terrible thing to waste. Hopefully, Smallwood realizes this, and hopefully this passes and he lands on his feet and does well in the future.