MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Rewind to West Virginia’s spring game, and more specifically to a third-and-2 stretch run by Wendell Smallwood. The outside running lane looked clear. A big gainer looked imminent.

Then, SWOOOOSH! Nickle back Dayron Wilson spurted through the line at a 45-degree angle and dropped Smallwood from behind.

It was an attention-getter, the kind Wilson has been reproducing during the first four days of preseason camp. Now the walk-on from Lackawanna College is a walk-on no more.

Coach Dana Holgorsen awarded the redshirt junior with a scholarship after Saturday’s practice.

“Dayron made two or three plays at the end—he made an unbelievable interception and had a tackle for loss,” Holgorsen said Monday. “He’s been doing great. He’s going to be a good one for us.”

The 5-foot-11, 204-pound Wilson is temporarily running with the first-team at the Spur hybrid spot, at least until starter K.J. Dillon recovers from a sprained ankle. But Wilson is proving he can make plays in the inevitable event injuries surface.

A Woodbridge, Va., native who led Lackawanna with 68 tackles as a sophomore in 2012, Wilson walked on at West Virginia in 2013 over offers from Appalachian State and Illinois State.

Asked whether he was tired of lamenting last year’s string of close losses, Holgorsen said: “It’s better than getting your ass kicked.”

While Adam Pankey and Marquis Lucas are entrenched but essentially untested as the starting offensive tackles, the staff is trying to identify a capable backup who can serve as a swing player.

Redshirt freshman Marcell Lazard and junior-college transfer Sylvester Townes are the second-stringers currently.

“We’re really looking for the third tackle right now,” he said. “Marcel and Sylvester are young guys that just need reps. We’ve got our two starters but we need a third tackle in case something happens.”

If there’s a potential panic spot in the offense, this is it. Neither Pankey or Lucas has started a college game at their position, though Pankey platooned for eight games last season and Lucas started four at left guard.

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  • WVcoal

    Holgasm loves Red Bull.


    Congratulations to Dayron Wilson... way to take advantage of your situation.

    Our "O:"Line is going to be the soar spot on this Offensive side of the ball and on the Defensive side of the ball it will be our "D"Line as well.... Where is the beef ?


    • Rob Hovatter

      I will be pleasantly surprised if the offensive line is a soar spot this year.

      • Jim Lahey

        Ha, Me too!

        • Mister Man

          You have to admit, though, the offensive line will be on the offensive side of the ball.

  • any major dude

    I'm not sure I would classify it as a potential panic situation, but the depth of the O line is worrisome, especially with Orlosky hurt.

  • JimJim

    Wow, we stole a player from Appalachian State. And, “It’s better than getting your ass kicked.” what a class act. Embarrassing!!

    • Billly

      Yes you are an embarrassment to the WVU fanbase.

    • Troll


  • WVU 2014

    I can't wait for this Bama game. Can't wait for the great tailgating and for the country to see WVU came to play!!

    • i know

      hey jimjim.....why don't you just say your william. because you are.

  • john

    I'm a fan of Holgs but Bill Parcells said years ago "you are what your record says you are". Good teams win those games bad teams don't. Last year we weren't good.

    • FNP

      No....mature/veteran teams win those games. We were neither of the two.

  • Aaron

    "Asked whether he was tired of lamenting last year’s string of close losses, Holgorsen said: “It’s better than getting your ass kicked.”"

    As Holgorsen said previously this team could have realistically been 9-3 and while Taylor stated it was a stretch, the team could have easily won at least 7 games and possibly 8. A years experience on all fronts does nothing but help this team.

    • JimJim

      Aaron, let's just say that we won them all!

      • Troll


    • FNP

      Could've beaten Oklahoma. Should've beaten Tech, Iowa State and Texas. Very easily could've been sitting at 7-8 wins and in a good bowl game. This team had their chances but just couldn't mature at the season went on. You'll see a much different group of guys out there this year. They are excited and i think the 3-3-5 has brought the fire back into Morgantown.

      • An actual athlete

        I to enjoy seeing the 3-3-5 back in town. Its angry fast and swarms. Or at least it should.