MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Dana Holgorsen projects only two true freshmen will see the field for West Virginia this season, another indicator the roster is better stocked than in recent years.

With the exception of free safety Dravon Henry and quarterback William Crest, the 2014 freshman class probably won’t be counted on until 2015.

“The rest of them, right now, would be pretty good redshirt candidates, which is a good position to be in,” Holgorsen said Monday, the 12th day of preseason camp. “There’s probably 13 or 14 (others), and I don’t think we’re going to need those bodies. It’s a much better spot than we were the last two years.”

West Virginia played six true freshman in 2013—Daryl Worley, Daikiel Shorts, Wendell Smallwood, Marvin Gross, Darrien Howard and Jeremy Tyler—on the heels of playing nine in 2012.

Injuries can rapidly alter coaches’ plans, of course, such as last season when linebacker Marvin Gross and nose guard Darrien Howard were pressed into action prematurely. That scenario is less probable now that WVU has a deeper buffer between the first unit and the last resorts. That’s the perk of having 36 seniors or third-year players among the 48 spots on the offense/defense/specialists two-deep.

West Virginia played six true freshman in 2013—cornerback Daryl Worley, receiver Daikiel Shorts, running back Wendell Smallwood, Gross, Howard and safety Jeremy Tyler—on the heels of playing nine in 2012.

While many of the Mountaineers’ newcomers were flagged as developmental players on signing day, Miami receiver Lamar Parker turned heads during the first week of camp. As of Monday, he wasn’t among the four reserves Holgorsen highlighted as competing for the No. 5 and No. 6 receiver roles.

Four-star recruit Donte Thomas-Williams certainly has the physical capacity to play right away, but currently there’s no compelling reason to use him with five experienced running backs in camp.

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  • Mountaineer1972

    Honesty, though sometimes brutal, is the best policy. It's Dana being Dana. Don't count this guy out. Crazy as a fox. Let's go...

  • Caleb

    I do believe DH is a good coach. he spent 3 years mopping up Stewart's mess of a roster ( love Stewart to death, mean no disrespect towards him). We had zero depth and can't compete in a power 5 conference with no one behind players. His offense still works. last year looked disastrous but statistically wasn't too bad for a quarterback carousel. I believe he's making the right moves and will still be our coach after this year. with that said I'm hoping to see major improvement on defense this year. He's acting way too calm cool and collected for a coach on the hot seat. he knows something we don't. somethin is brewing in Morgantown.

  • any major dude


    Too late! I think Dana has already fallen head-over-heels in love with somebody, and his name is William Crest.

  • nashville cat

    maybe this has been mentioned, but here goes..
    dana admits to lying to his recruits, it's all about being a salesman.
    Now, what does luck have to say, are all of wvu''s coaches liars?
    Dana , don't you know every coach will use this in recruiting against wvu... How stupid are you?
    I just can't believe he would admit to something like this... can you imagine any recruits' mom believeing anything he has to say now... sad/

    • Ut Oh

      I would guess, and it is just a guess that he was probably refering to other coaches that would lie to your recruits and say things like, I have got it on good word that Holgerson is gone after this year so why would you want to sign with WVU, or I hear that their program is being investigated for violations ect. I don't think that the coach was admitting to lying himself.

    • MountaineerGirl

      Can you imagine how many recruits mom's are breathing a sigh of relief that one of those slimy jerks has owned up to what she's been sitting there gritting her teeth over until they got out of her house....and everybody knew exactly what she thought about their BS the minute they walked out the door. Honesty is always the best policy...better late then never!

    • Mountaineer1972

      I find his honesty refreshing

    • Hman

      Everybody Lies is the American way...The American worker has been lied to for years...get over it

  • Here's What I Can't Figure Out

    I know there's always been such an uproar over Dana wearing black instead of blue. And I've never known WVU to use a grey backdrop for coaches' interviews. That being said, is MetroNews altering this picture to make Dana look like he's still wearing black instead of blue just to stir the pot?

  • MonicaMountaineer

    I really think Dana is quite a coach! Now on to more important things, why is he still single? He'd be a great catch!!!

  • Mister Man

    I just read, on CBS Sports, that Dana said he lies to recruits. Dana, stop with the booze!!!!

    • WVU 2014

      Send the article! I'm sure you don't have it Mister Man

      • Allan Taylor

        Folks, you can HEAR his actual quote in the video above. He was speaking in a larger context about power-5 autonomy and tossed in the lying line almost as an aside. Nothing that ground-moving, but quotes can take on lives of their own ...

      • bcr

        It's a real article. No joke.

        • WVU 2014

          Alright! I'll man up and say I didn't see it and believe an article was published. It was. Much to my surprise..the article continues w/ "Now, whether or not Holgorsen should be this open about the process, I don't know, but it's the truth. A coach is going to tell a player whatever they need to in order to get that player to come to their school."
          He ain't alone doing it, he was just dumb enough to admit it. Not like he's promising them cars!!!

  • WVU 2014

    Have to look beyond X's and O's for this program's future. I really believe the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. Ollie is playing for keeps to get this program to another level. Look at the Bama opener, scheduling Tenn, Va. Tech. He sits on the board for the new playoffs, big presence in BIG12 group. Recruiting is getting much better. DH still has a very impressive track record with offensive production. More programs are going this way with high tempo. Our boys get to a bowl game this year.

  • Aaron

    When Hogerson came to WVU he was a hot commodity. In addition to the Mountaineers looking at him as a head coach, Piit was as well. He was also on the short list of others jobs as well. Should he be fired from WVU the chances that he gets another power five head-coaching job are slim to William making sense. It ain't gonna happen. He has to win here or he's an afterthought whose only head coaching possibilities are in the Mac, Sun Belt or one the other lower tier conferences.

    Regarding Crest, he has the potential to play but not as a passing quarterback. He has a hitch in his passes which results in accurate passes so unless that is fixed, despite having a strong arm he will struggle throwing the ball.

    I understand Holgorsen does not want to rule his him playing at this point, the truth is if he can be redshirted West Virginia is better off. All one has to do to see that is look at Gino's freshman year. Even if Crest is ted shirted, he is not guaranteed the starting job in 2015 as 2 other quality quarterbacks are coming into the program.

    About the only thing that is certain is that it is still a great day to be a Mountaineer!!!

    • bcr

      Is his hitch similar to Pat White's?

      • Aaron

        Of course my memory of White is of him in his early 20's versus an 18 year old kid with only high school experience but White seem much more accurate to me. He reminds me more of Major Harris than Pat White. The question is, does he have a Reggie Rembrant to go up and get the ball?

        • Major

          Crest reminding us of the only quarterback that lead the moutaineers to a NC is good thing.

        • Billy

          Reggie Rembert. Rembrant was a Dutch painter born in 1606.

          • Aaron

            Auto correct doesn't know that.

  • Mister Man

    If he is what they think he is, perhaps they have a reason not to redshirt.

  • cutty77

    I have told alot of people there is no way Crest gets a Red-Shirt. WVU needs all the help they can get on offense.

  • Holgie

    I still think it's best to Redshirt Crest. That would give him 4 full years of playing time, assuming he's what they say he is.

    • Jason

      If he is good enough to play now and he gets on the field this year...wouldn't he still get 4 full years of playing time? Bottom line is, if you can make an impact on the team you play, no saving players for the future if they can help you win win now and go get more recruits each year moving forward.

      • Aaron

        Geno played 4 years but his freshman year was wasted setting behind Jarrett Brown with his only meaningful action the route of Marshall.

      • Mister Man


  • Big Rick

    This is music to Big Rick's EARS! Can't wait to see what these two have to offer while giving the others a year to learn the system.
    -Big Rick

  • mack

    i've never heard the word SCHEMATICALLY used so much in my life.....till this coach shows up. as long as he wins....i don't really care.

    • nashville cat

      or coughs as much,

      • mack

        yes, or coughs as much as this guy or clears his throat as much as this guy....but once again----as long as he wins, i don't care.

  • FNP

    You can see a different Dana Holgorsen this year. Last year you could see worry and unrest on his face at every press conference. The guy has put on some weight, speaking the Mountaineer language and has the pieces in place to make some good things happen this year. His coaching staff is finally gelling and depth has him worry free. I'm looking forward to the upcoming season and lets go out and surprise some ppl this year.

    And i can say i was wrong about redshirting Crest. I thought for sure it was going to be a certainty but it doesnt look like it.

    • Ole Sasquatch

      ...or maybe he is just financially secure.
      I will not buy all this hype until I see it on the field.
      Best I remember we went through a lot of this hype the last couple of years. Sad thing is we went down hill the 2nd. half of the season - a lot of the problem being attitude. Can happen again with a young coaching staff. I'm gonna keep my head up high and I'll never cry, and I plan to carry on that a way. Might even buy myself a new pair of shoes if we start losing.

    • ViennaGuy

      Agreed, his entire demeanor and tone have changed. He looks like he's taking this more seriously, and I like it. I also want to see some positive surprised this year.

      • Jason

        He is probably taking it more seriously because he knows in D1 football you get 4-5 years tops to produce or you are looking for another job.

      • Dave

        I would be surprised if he would wear Mountaineer colors instead of Raiders.

      • FNP

        He's way more mature and i think his surrounding coaching staff has helped with that.

        I wish everybody would've listened to him from the beginning though. He said that it would take a few years to be able to compete in the Big 12. I think we will be better this year but we are still another year or two from being right where we need to be.

        • Greg

          You're right about it taking a couple of years. Stew, God rest his soul, recruited a few of the best to ever don the old gold & blue. He just didn't recruit enough of them.

        • JTL

          I agree and I think we as a fan base got a little spoiled. Now let me explain, I think we should expect the moon every season, but reality is that we play 3-4 potential national championship teams a season in the big 12. We have had recruiting classes in the past that didnt allow for any depth either, it would have eventually bitten us if we were still playing a big least schedule. Am I saying we are going to be great this year? I hope so but the reality is that we are at least primed for major improvement.