MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Prior to last season, only the most devoted West Virginia fans would be need to pay heed to the tight end depth chart. If one was on the field, he was almost certainly functioning as a sixth blocker.
That changed in 2018.
Trevon Wesco led a revolution at the position, catching 26 passes for 366 yards. But just because Wesco has flown to New York to become a Jet doesn’t mean tight ends will be grounded in the Mountaineer passing game.
Here is a look at what West Virginia is bringing back at the tight end and fullback spots this fall.
Any other year, Haskins would have been considered the breakthrough tight end for West Virginia. His 16 receptions for 148 yards alone offered more production than any WVU tight end since Don Nehlen’s retirement.
The former Miami transfer could become a focal point in this year’s offense, particularly when surrounded by a largely inexperienced group of wide receivers.
Both O’Laughlin and Banks redshirted as freshmen last season – O’Laughlin because of a preseason knee injury, and Banks because Wesco and Haskins were too darn good.
O’Laughlin didn’t participate in any contact drills this spring, so his potential remains untapped. He and Banks will battle for the No. 2 tight end spot, though it will be interesting to see how often they’ll play at the same time as Haskins. Both were more receiving tight ends than blocking tight ends at the high school level.
Beal is an intriguing long-term project. After a decade toiling in Minor League Baseball, he joined the program last year as a 28-year-old freshman. With a 6-foot-6, 253-pound frame, he certainly has the build to become the ideal No. 2 blocking tight end at some point.
In Neal Brown’s parlance, the fullback is known as the S-back.
Thimons has been an unsung contributor for the Mountaineers over his two-year career, playing in 16 games with the bulk of his work coming on special teams. With Wesco frequently flexing to an H-back spot last season, expect to see a lot more of Thimons in short-yardage scenarios this year.
Drummond is walk-on from Bridgeport heading into his junior season. He’s played in spot roles, appearing against Youngstown State and Texas Tech last year.
Each week this offseason, we’ll look at the depth chart at each position for West Virginia. If you missed any, you can catch up here: