Dale Sparks/WVUSports.com

West Virginia players enter The Star at The Ford Center in Frisco, Texas, for Friday’s bowl practice.

 

FRISCO, Texas — West Virginia’s football team stayed dry during Friday’s indoor practice, thanks to the Texas Class 5A state champions.

Bumped from their original practice venue because Highland Park High School remained alive in the state playoffs, the Mountaineers upgraded to The Ford Center at The Star, the 12,000-seat domed practice facility of the Dallas Cowboys.

The move proved fortuitous when heavy winds and rains doused the area.

“Hopefully our guys will have a little juice today in this nice little place here,” WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson joked before practice.

Highland Park subsequently won the state title 53-49 over Manvel later Friday night.

Bowl gifts

Bowl games mean swag, and the Heart of Dallas Bowl allowed WVU and Utah players to choose from a gift suite valued at $550.

At previous bowls, Kyzir and K’Raun White selected presents for their mom, just as Kevin did before them.

“She got spoiled,” Ka’Raun joked.

This time the White brothers treated themselves to grills and Amazon Echos, with Kyzir explaining that they couldn’t pick out a mom item because these gifts won’t be delivered until mid-January. “So we’re going to have to go get her something else,” he said.

David Sills called the gift suite excursion “an early Christmas for us.” This time Sills also picked out something for himself, noting that he played the good son during the 2016 Cactus Bowl by gifting his mother a Michael Kors watch.

Carrier glad Sills stayed

Sills’ decision to return for his senior season represented a holiday gift for the West Virginia offense. Among the happiest people was his position coach, Tyron Carrier, who recognized Sills “was really close” to entering the NFL draft.

“He had every opportunity to leave, but me personally, I think he made the better decision,” Carrier said. “Me and him talked about it, and staying gives him more of an opportunity to really own that position.”

In the span of a few months, Sills progressed from competing for a starting job to competing for the Biletnikoff Award. The 6-foot-4 junior enters the bowl game leading the nation with 18 touchdown catches.

“It’s amazing what he did in that short amount of time, but he still has a lot to work on,” Carrier said.

Notes from practice

Will Grier, with the middle finger on his throwing hand still bandaged from surgery, was vocal with teammates during parts of Friday’s practice. He also mixed in conditioning work, circling the field and doing abdominal crunches against a wall in the end zone. … Senior offensive guard Kyle Bosch, who missed the regular-season finale at Oklahoma with an injury, did not make the trip. … Redshirt freshman Dylan Tonkery worked with the first-team linebackers during individual drills. … Coaches said there were no academic-eligibility issues with regard total semester grades.

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