Wednesday Spring Practice Report

Beautiful spring weather greeted the Mountaineer football team as they took the field for their ninth day of spring football drills on Wednesday afternoon.

The biggest news on this day was that quarterbacks Pat White and Dwayne Thompson both donned white jerseys, meaning the defense was free to hit either one of the Mountaineer signal callers. While the quarterbacks were in the traditional offensive white jersey, several other Mountaineers were wearing the infamous red "no practice" jerseys.

Guys like Jeremy Sheffey, Dan Mozes, Justin Hensley, Josh Bailey, and Justin Dziak have been in red all spring, so it was no surprise to see them being held out of practice. As is usually the case as the spring lengthens though, other players joined them on the sidelines. Grafton native and starting tackle Travis Garrett was held out of drills today, and from the looks of the large boot on his right foot it doesn't look like he'll be back anytime soon. Ben Clemmons was also in red after taking a shot in the ribs earlier this week. Lineman Aaron Howell wasn't even dressed for practice, but observed from the sidelines.

With the ranks getting so thin on the o-line, junior college transfer Lou Davis moved from his tight end spot to work out with the line at tackle today. This move shouldn't come as a surprise to many, as there was a general feeling that Davis would at least get a look at tackle this spring. Head coach Rich Rodriguez says that because of the thin numbers on the line, Davis's size, and his ability to learn quickly, it seemed like the right time to try him out on the line. Rodriguez noted that Davis could see time at tackle and tight end in the fall. Also on the offensive line, first team center Jeremy Hines got some time playing guard, allowing the coaches to get a look at freshman center Mike Dent.

The offense worked a lot on the short passing game today, particularly getting the ball to backs and receivers in the flats. During seven on seven drills, walk-on receiver John Allevato made a nice diving catch on a ball underthrown by the quarterback. Also standing out in the receiving corps today was Travis McClintic, who made a couple of nice catches as well as some nice downfield blocks.

In the backfield, Jason Colson tweaked an ankle early in practice and sat for the remainder of the afternoon. In his absence Pernell Williams, and Erick Phillips got most of the reps with the first team, and Arlen Dorsey made the most of his carries by ripping off a long run down the sideline. The only other long run of the day came on a scramble by Pat White.

The secondary shined on the defensive side of the ball. During 11 on 11 drills, free safety Jahmille Addae was flying to the football on every play. Dee McCann showed nice concentration, diving to pick off a pass that went off of the outstretched hands of Rayshawn Bolden. Ridwan Malik and Abraham Jones delivered the shots of the day. Malik came up to stop a scrambling Thompson and knocked the quarterback's helmet off. Jones lowered a hard hit on Pernell Williams who was trying to catch a pass down the middle of the field. The hit left Williams a little shaken up, but the sophomore was able to return a few minutes later.

The Mountaineers take tomorrow off before practicing again on Friday afternoon. The forecast calls for rain in the morning on Friday, but the skies should clear up in time for practice. Saturday morning, the team will scrimmage for the second time this spring.


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