Defensive Moves Dominate Depth Chart

West Virginia's new defensive coaching staff has been busy this spring, as it has evaluated players and moved them around to positions that may be better fits moving forward -- a process reflected in the updated depth chart the school released Tuesday.

Only minor changes were evident on the offensive side of the ball.

Marquis Lucas moved from left tackle to right tackle (he was listed as a part of the two-deep before spring, but is now shown as the third option at his new position). In his place, Nick Kindler has now assumed the role of backup left tackle behind Quinton Spain.

The loss of Matt Lindamood from the team's roster is shown, as former linebacker Donovan Miles (who was listed as the second-team strong-side linebacker before spring began) is now backing up Ryan Clarke at one of the two running back positions.

The only change to the starting lineup as things stand currently would come at the "Z" wide receiver position, where Ryan Nehlen was bumped past Ivan McCartney. McCartney has been limited this spring due to a hamstring injury.

While that was the extent of the alterations on offense, the same could not be said for the Mountaineers' defense.

Will Clarke was moved from a starter at defensive end to the starter at defensive tackle. He is now ahead of J.B. Lageman and Kyle Rose at his new position.

At nose tackle, true freshman and early enrollee Imarjaye Albury has apparently made an impression on position coach Erik Slaughter. Albury is listed ahead of teammate Shaq Rowell for the backup job behind Jorge Wright.

Slaughter has apparently taken one of West Virginia's former linebackers into the fold as well. Tyler Anderson is now listed as the starter at defensive end after having ben shown as a third-team "Buck" linebacker before spring practice began. Trevor Demko has been pushed to the third team at defensive end, as Chidoziem Ezemma is listed as Anderson's backup.

Linebackers have also moved around considerably. All of the players previously listed at weak-side linebacker have been moved to the strong-side, with Doug Rigg, Isaiah Bruce and Troy Gloster (in order) making up the "Sam" linebacker depth chart.

In their place at "Will" is starter Jared Barber (who was previously the starter at "Sam"). Behind Barber, coaches have slotted Nick Kwiatkoski as the backup and Mountain State native Taige Redman as a third-teamer.

Lawrence Smith is now backing up Brodrick Jenkins at the "field" cornerback spot. The man who previously held that job, Avery Williams, is now listed immediately behind the injured Pat Miller at "boundary" corner. That move bumped Terrell Chestnut to third-team "boundary."

Special teams units remain completely unchanged. Tyler Bitancurt leads at placekicker and Corey Smith is slotted as the starting punter. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are the kickoff returners, while Austin is listed ahead of Jenkins at punt returner.

WVU has just about a week and a half left in spring practice before the Gold-Blue Spring Game, to be held April 21. The Mountaineers are scheduled to practice again Tuesday evening.

Editor's Note: You can view the pre-spring depth chart at this link. The updated version is available by clicking this link.

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