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.