Practice Report - In The Stadium

The Mountaineer football team went through their second preseason practice on Tuesday, with a change of venue and attrition some of the highlights of the day.

The format of practice was very similar to day one at the Mountaineer Football Complex, with the team going through a number of individual work periods which culminated in team pass and 11 on 11 work.

The weather was a bit different that Monday's outstanding conditions, as it started out hot and muggy before yielding to a rain shower midway through the work. The precipitation didn't put a crimp in the proceedings, however, as work continued on the AstroPlay surface.

The first casualty of fall camp may have surfaced, as offensive lineman Josh Stewart, who was absent from practice, has indicated that he may give up football.

"That's a shame, because he's a fine young man," head coach Rich Rodriguez noted.

Injuries and ailments were the other big story of the day, with several players held out. Free safety Vince Beamer did not practice, as he was undergoing blood tests. Rodriguez noted he had a problem with his abdomen. Beamer suffered from some cramps during the first practice session on Monday.

Defensive lineman Andrae Wright was also in red as he attempts to work through a foot problem, and Milo Austin (knee), Eddie Jackson (hamstring), and Mike Watson also sat out parts of practice.

While many observers are ready to hand the starting superback job to Kay Jay Harris, Rodriguez is not. In fact, Harris, who was "in the doghouse" with the coaches, did not run with the first unit. That slot went to Jason Colson, who ran the ball hard, albeit without contact, during the afternoon.

"Running back is an open competition," Rodriguez said after practice. "Jason Colson and Bryan Wright are competing for the job with Kay Jay, and I hope either Alphonso Gross or Pernell Williams will play this year."

Rodriguez also believes that the new class as a whole is a bit further along than previous groups.

"The freshmen as a whole are picking things up a bit more quickly than any group I've had - it's a smart group," Rodriguez noted.

The first week of practice heads for the midway point with another single session on Wednesday afternoon.


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