MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — If there was any doubt regarding Wendell Smallwood’s potential value to the West Virginia offense, running backs coach JaJuan Seider erased it Saturday.

“Wendell, he can do everything that Charles (Sims) did,” Seider said.

What Sims did last year was lead the Big 12 with 1,549 yards from scrimmage. He was one of four 1,000-yard rushers in the conference, led the league’s running backs with 45 catches and ranked second with 14 touchdowns. Sims posed a threat in the backfield and lining up in the slot, the brand of versatility Smallwood affords West Virginia this season.

“A guy like Wendell can be on the field the whole game until he’s tired,” Seider said.

Junior Andrew Buie, after catching 41 passes during his first two seasons, also can transition to inside receiver—a key for WVU to shift sets on the fly without changing personnel groups. Seider said coaches are serious about splitting bigger tailbacks Dreamius Smith and Rushel Shell out wide.

“(Friday) they had a couple balls downfield that were deep … which is really scary because you could have 230-pound guys running down the middle of the field on a linebacker,” Seider said.

With five veteran returnees, and four-star recruit Dontae Thomas-Williams acclimating to the system, the Mountaineers’ running backs could be scary on many fronts.

“They’re pissed off, and it’s a good thing,” Seider said. “The guys are really getting after it right now.”

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  • WVU Fan

    Not sure Sims was that great of a blocker especially on passing plays. But he had talent for everything else. Wish we had him again this year.

  • any major dude

    I hope it wasn't just coach speak, because playing pissed off and getting after it are really the essences of football, aren't they?

  • FNP

    If these guys get clicking early in the season then look for big things this year.

  • Justin campbell

    Thank god finally a post that no one got negative on our season. Let go WVU

  • VaultHunter

    With all this talent at rb I would love to see a small wildcat package of some sort. The diamond package will be a headache for opposing defensive coaches as well.

    I cannot wait to see all of those guys making plays.

    Gonna be fun to watch.

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    To be able to change sets on the fly without having to change personnel gives the offense a big advantage because they can operate at a fast pace and it denies the D the ability to substitute . If you bring in new guys then you have to give the D the same opportunity to substitute . That slows down a fast paced offense . I like the idea of Shell catching a 30 yard pass downfield against a winded linebacker but I will believe it when I see it . As far as DTW is concerned , I keep hearing ( by the media ) "redshirt" for him. Why ? Use him while you can . If he is as good as advertised he will turn pro in 3 years whether he plays his freshman year or not . So play him.

  • Alex

    I sure like what coach Seider had to say how the RB's would be used....With what we have in the backfield not rotating too often, soon will wear down any big defense lineman any day ...If we can get the ball snapped in 20 seconds on each down.....Wow we can rack up some points big time.... Good thought good feeling about the team....

  • any major dude

    It certainly gives you more options and depth when you have players that can be used as running backs and inside receivers/outside receivers.
    But remember you've got to block, too. It takes a heck of a good player like Sims to pull it off. But the again he had strength to block and run, and had soft hands on the catch but hard hands after the catch. He made the catch but then held on to it too.