Oklahoma drills highlight first day in pads

During his media briefing earlier in the day, Dana Holgorsen told those in attendance that with Monday being the first day in pads, his team would be doing some Oklahoma drills and continuing to get after it like they had the first few days.

Monday evening, the Mountaineers wasted no time doing that - breaking off into their groups for Oklahomas early on right after going through stretches to kick off practice.

West Virginia got right into it, being physical with things getting chippy quickly between the offense and defense. Sophomore cornerback Daryl Worley performed well during this period, shredding blocks and getting to his ball carrier on a couple of occasions, while wide receiver Kevin White was being very vocal as the receivers and secondary went up against one another.

Dontae Thomas-Williams, the freshman running back from Durham, N.C., had one of the more impressive runs during the drill, plowing through Sean Walters like it was nothing. The 6-foot, 221-pound back surely does not look like a freshman.

From there, the Mountaineers split up and did extensive work on special teams. While WVU already knows what it has in specialists ilke Josh Lambert and Nick O'Toole, who got plenty of work Monday, a lot of attention was paid to the players back receiving those kicks as WVU continues its search for reliable returners.

For the most part, it was the same group of people back there last Thursday when we watched camp and the handful of names Holgorsen mentioned during his news conference Monday afternoon. Mario Alford, the speedy senior wide receiver, stood out and looked the most comfortable. On the other side, Jordan Thompson struggled and dropped three punts.

The junior inside receiver was heard leaving the field after the special teams portion saying, "It's just not my day," with punt returns but assured Lonnie Galloway he would bounce back once the receivers broke off for position-specific drills.

After a quick period of position drills, the last few minutes open to the media was the first live action 11-on-11 period we have been allowed to see up to this point.

There weren't many surprises on the offense. Clint Trickett was the quarterback with Adam Pankey, Quinton Spain, Tyler Orlosky, Mark Glowinski and Marquis Lucas in front of him from left to right on the offensive line. Dreamius Smith was the first-team running back with Kevin White and Mario Alford at wide receivers and Daikiel Shorts and running back Wendell Smallwood in the slot.

Defensively, the line was made up of senior Dontrill Hyman, junior Kyle Rose and sophomore Christian Brown. At linebacker, with Brandon Golson wearing a green limited-contact jersey, Wes Tonkery was out with the defense, along with Nick Kwiatkoski, Isaiah Bruce and Dayron Wilson - a SPUR safety who was recently put on scholarship after redshirting last year as a walk-on from Lackawanna College.

In the secondary, Ishmael Banks and Daryl Worley were at the cornerback spots with Karl Joseph and freshman Dravon Henry at safety.

After a quick, impressive run off tackle by Smith to start the drive, Trickett's pass near the sideline was intercepted by Henry. The senior did come back and complete a pass to Mario Alford across the middle, before Alford was hit and held onto the ball as the members of the media were leaving after getting to watch our 30 minutes of practice.

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