Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia’s Dreamius Smith rumbles 45 yards against Iowa State during the final game of the 2013 season.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Dreamius Smith dashed 45 yards against Iowa State, but couldn’t make the final 11 before being shoved out of bounds.

It was a sore reminder that some of his giddy-up was gone, and he fully realized why.

“Toward the end of the year I just started gaining weight and felt slower,” said Smith, whose yards per carry dipped from 5.8 in September to 4.5 in October to 4.3 in November.

The junior college transfer, so electric in ripping off a 75-yard touchdown at Oklahoma in Week 2, saw his weight climb from 215 pounds on opening day to 228 by season’s end. He wasn’t bulking up by design and wasn’t accustomed to packing on pounds during a span when most players are struggling to maintain mass.

“To gain weight during the season, it was shocking to me,” he said. “I couldn’t get my knees up, and I couldn’t do what I used to do. I mean, 228. I’ve never carried that weight.”

The Iowa State run, in particular, revealed the dreaded impact. It was the kind of play Smith should have scored on, and the kind he said “I would’ve scored on” earlier in the season.

Talking to reporters Friday on the second day of preseason camp, Smith recalled the lessons and mixed results of his first FBS season. After that dazzling run through the Sooners secondary, he missed a block on a blitzer that led to a sack-fumble.

He compiled 494 yards and five rushing touchdowns but averaged fewer than six carries during the final four games.

Now, according to the tentative depth chart, Smith is the leader in a deep group of running backs vying to replace NFL third-round pick Charles Sims. With so much talent in the backfield, Smith knows position coach JaJaun Seider, offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and head coach Dana Holgorsen will be monitoring reps closely.

By the time the season opener arrives against Alabama, the margin between first- and fourth-string could be thin.

“They’re going to look at everything—blocking, running the ball, what are you doing when the ball’s not in your hand,” Smith said.

And by the time the season winds down, Smith plans to be monitoring his body more closely.

“This time I’ve got a better mindset,” he said, “knowing what I have to do to keep my weight down.”

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Comments

  • VaultHunter

    Lets Go Mountaineers!!!

  • VaultHunter

    This has to be the deepest WVU has ever been at rb. Smith could start at almost any program and will be a big weapon for us this year. You add in Smallwood Garrison and Buie who can each do more than take handoffs and we are loaded.

    We don't even know yet but Shell could be the best of the group.

    But it seems like one undeniable thing, the O-line is the key to a successful 2014. If we can't run block or pass block we could have Joe Montana and Barry Sanders back there and not protecting or opening holes in this league it wouldn't matter.

  • Raoul

    If the OL doesn't perform better this year, it won't matter if he weighs 300 pounds. I don't recall seeing so few break-away runs by an 'Eers offense as last year's team produced.

    • Ole Sasquatch

      +1. Crook you better get it up this year. You're being watched.

  • Ole Sasquatch

    To me that says practices were not as physically demanding as they should had been in the second half of the season. I would have made them run that hill enough times that they ( yes, I said THEY ALLl would have stayed in shape. Ole Sasquatch ain't so dumb that he did'nt see the overall team getting out of shape near the end of the season which helps account for the other teams comebacks in the 4 th. Qtr. Say what you will about Rich and Coach Trickett but that would never happen under their watch or mine either as far as that goes.

  • TruthTeller

    In order to maintain a certain weight you have to follow a very strict diet and it takes discipline. Most young kids today are never taught discipline because they come from broken homes and father less households. May be pickup a book on health and nutrition? Eating pizza, cheese burgers, smoking and drinking beer every day is not a healthy life style. Some of you people seem to have an I.Q. less than room temperature.

    LET'S GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!

  • Big Larry

    A simple way to avoid gaining weight at the end of the season...

    1. Win football games...

    2. Keep your mind on football instead of food.

  • Jim - Morgantown

    Sorry to be critical here but don't the coaches or strength staff monitor player's weights during the season?? I know 80 guys would be tough to follow but you would think that a much used running back's weight gain would be noticed and addressed.

    • Harpers Ferry

      There's more than 80 players on the team.

  • Tim C

    Don't eat! That'll keep your weight down. Don't sweat it Dreamius, you'll be fine. Looking forward to seeing you bust a couple this season.

    • Harpers Ferry

      If he doesn't eat, he will die. I don't think that's a good solution to the problem.

  • Alex

    Why was he putting on weight????

    • uncle phil

      Good point. Not too common for a player to gain weight during the season. I'd say if he was gaining weight, he wasn't running and working hard enough. Maybe he's lazy. It happens. It's not a perfect world. The ARE lazy football players out there. Wouldn't doubt he's one of them.

    • pc

      Good question. According to all the hype from the "Power 5", these are the same athletes who were literally starving and needed unlimited, around-the-clock food made available to them by their athletic departments!! Obviously, Dreamius didn't get "the memo"!

    • In da stickes

      Carb loading at Towers. Ever see the before and after pictures of the co eds in year one?

    • Rob T.

      Beer! And toco bell will do it!!!!!

      • John

        Rob t.

        Lol. Taco Bell will kill your endurance.j