WVU opens spring practice

Although there won't be games played for another few months, a new season kicked off Sunday as the West Virginia football team began spring practice.

The Mountaineers took the field at Milan Puskar Stadium with plenty of energy during the 30 minutes of open practice time that was made available to members of the media - the first of five opportunities to see WVU during the spring - and, like the first few days of practice usually tend to go, West Virginia used Sunday's session to slowly work back into the flow of doing football activities all together with the whole team and the coaching staff all there and able to instruct.

Once WVU went through its stretching routines and got ready to break into groups for positional drills, the team made sure to go through some simple fundamental things. Two of the spots that drew a lot of attention were the quarterbacks, who were being led through drills by newly appointed offensive graduate assistant Michael Burchett as well as head coach Dana Holgorsen, and the punt returners.

Among the quarterbacks, redshirt freshman William Crest continues to physically look the part compared to the others in terms of the typical quarterback build, but Crest struggled at times to hit his targets during some of the early throwing drills - some of which can be expected a little bit as he returns from an injury to his throwing shoulder a year ago. True freshman signal callers David Sills and Chris Chugunov also worked through their first spring practices since enrolling a semester to throw their names into the hat to have a chance in the competition as the Mountaineers look to replace Clint Trickett this season.

Holgorsen announced some news about the special teams before the start of practice, announcing that former defensive GA Mark Scott will be promoted to a full-time position on the staff (pending HR approval from WVU) and will help coach on defense - while also assisting Joe DeForest with the special teams.

During the special teams portion of the practice, West Virginia sent a quartet of receivers back to field punts in its search to find a reliable option for 2015. Jacky Marcellus, Lamar Parker, Vernon Davis Jr. and Jordan Thompson all took turns catching the punts. Obviously of the four, Thompson is the most experienced, but also struggled to be a reliable option there last season, while Davis also returned a few punts in 2014. Marcellus and Parker, who misjudged and almost dropped a punt during the drill, did not play last season. Parker redshirted during his true freshman season while Marcellus missed the season after getting knee surgery.


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