Spring Practice Notebook 4/3

Spring break officially ended for West Virginia's football players when the university's class schedule resumed on Monday, but Tuesday evening's practice was what brought the Mountaineers back together to begin the final weeks of spring drills.

The break may have gotten some players out of their routine, as coaches were a bit more assertive in dealing with them during Tuesday's session. In fact, multiple coaches dismissively referred to their charges as "soft."

The physicality increased concurrently, culminating in a brief scuffle during work pitting wide receivers and defensive backs against each other in a drill designed to practice coverage and blocking on screen passes.

Coach Dana Holgorsen repeatedly lamented the fact players were "wasting time" with the pushing and shoving.

The Mountaineers worked on kickoff return and coverage schemes to begin the day, drills that lasted for a full 10 minutes and again saw several coaches -- including Holgorsen, Joe DeForest, Robert Gillespie and Steve Dunlap -- devote their full attention.

Linebackers and running backs also again worked on the pass rush/pass protection one-on-one drill we have profiled here previously.

During position-specific work, wide receiver Jordan Thompson showed nice hands in snaring a few difficult-to-reach passes.

The freshman has been a consistent pass-catcher in the opening weeks of spring practice. As the video below shows, he also has some crafty moves in the open field to help evade defenders.


  • Defensive lineman Derrick Bryant is no longer part of the program, WVU sports information director Mike Montoro confirmed.

    Bryant transferred from UCLA last fall after the Columbus, Ohio, native was reportedly homesick while in California. He initially chose the Bruins over offers from a host of schools from every BCS automatic-qualifying conference.

  • Linebacker Donovan Miles worked out as a fullback on Tuesday as part of an experiment to see if he may fit at the position.

    A fifth-year-senior-to-be, Miles registered nine tackles a season ago in limited action.

  • West Virginia players will speak to reporters later Tuesday evening. BlueGoldNews.com will have full coverage.

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