Leadership Seminar

Whether it's by example, as a motivator, a supporter or a needed vocal critic, the most successful of teams - in any venue - have leadership with a core set of values. There are several candidates to fill those slots for West Virginia this fall, perhaps none better than these three.

Among the more obvious of choices to teammates, but less apparent to the public, is Cody Clay. The back, acknowledged as among the more tireless of workers, has a naturally quiet bent, and thus doesn't showcase himself in an animated style. But his lead-by-example approach has been steadfast throughout his three years in the program, and its perhaps the top reason the state native was selected as a spring captain.

Clay, from Alum Creek, W.Va., has the on- and off-field intangibles that go into a leadership role. For tangibles, consider that Clay played in all 12 games last season at tight end and fullback, with nine starts in what amounts to a glorified blocking role. He finished with nine catches for 73 yards and a touchdown, and was named to the All-Big 12 Conference Honorable Mention team by coaches and an Academic All-Big 12 Football Second Team member - which essentially covers the basis for a student-athlete quite effectively.

Here, Clay talks about assuming that leadership mantle and overcoming his naturally quiet state. He also mentions other more vociferous candidates on offense, such as Quinton Spain and Clint Trickett, and how not having a sure starting quarterback last season hurt a younger team.

Running back Dustin Garrison, below, speaks to his excitement in the team's progress and development, the crowded backfield, how to best utilize his skill sets, and how he is trying to showcase himself as an overall player and leader as West Virginia continues to build toward the season opener against No. 2 Alabama.

Mike linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, perhaps the finest overall tackler on WVU's defense, talks about how his game has changed, his make-up physically, what he sees as a schematic change in the defense and how he is approaching a season in which he'll be expected to be among the team leaders in production.


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