Players of the Game - Spring Game

Spring games can be notoriously difficult to judge, but we still selected an offensive and defensive player of the game as WVU wrapped up spring drills.

Defensively, a number of players had good numbers, including middle linebacker Marc Magro, who finished with eight tackles, and Abarham Jones, who had a like number of stops and returned an Owen Schmitt fumble 91 yards for a touchdown. However, we try to look at more than just raw numbers in a performance, which led us to the selection of bandit Ridwan Malik as the defensive player of the contest.

Malik had four tackles on the afternoon, but more impressive was the way he forced plays from his bandit position. he made one tackle in the backfield on an option play to stop one drive, and consistently disrupted running plays on his side of the field. Malik also showed his ability in pass coverage, which is a key for the position. He broke on one short pass to Rayshawn Bolden to record a pass breakup, and was also a sure tackler in the open field.

Offensively, there were likewise a number of solid performances. Fullback Owen Schmitt was impressive both running and catching the football, but in the end the versatility of quarterback Patrick White caught our eye for the award.

White has had an up and down spring, but on this day he threw the ball accurately on the way to a 10 for 18 performance, good for 141 yards and a score. He was even more impressive on the ground, rushing 11 times for 94 yards and two scores.

Although the redshirt freshman didn't throw the ball down the field a great deal, his accuracy was improved, and he didn't come close to suffering an interception. On the ground, he showed the speed of Rasheed Marshall and the moves of a running back, as he twice wiggled, broke tackles, and sprinted through the defense for touchdowns of 31 and 24 yards.

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