Early Camp Notes

West Virginia opened fall camp for its 113th football season Saturday as more than 100 players reported for the first round of practice. Under partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the upper 70s, the Mountaineers took to the stadium field in helmets and shorts.

In the open portion of practice, the Mountaineers went through a number of position-specific drills, then broke down into units and ran through some base plays and special team formations.

Scout.com's No. 1-rated placekicking recruit, Patrick McAfee made field goals of 30 yards that would have easily cleared from 50-yards plus. The freshman's initial lift and booming range were impressive, and the ball – still rising as it passed above the bar – hit off the Puskar Center glass consistently. One kick, from 20-yards, landed in the stands under the scoreboard.

Walk-ons Kevin Tice and Kyle Chilton, who hail from Georgia and Florida, respectively, also made their first kicks in front of the coaching staff.

Punters Scott Kozlowski and Phil Brady punted to West Virginia's expected return corps of Vaughn Rivers, Antonio Lewis, Jeremy Bruce and Anthony Mims. Brandon Myles joined that quartet on kickoff returns.

The defensive and offensive lines began with the basics, as both Bill Kirelawich and Rick Trickett started out with insturctions on the fundamentals of stance, hand placement and weight balance. Jeremy Hines, Dan Mozes, Jeremy Sheffey, Travis Garrett and Garin Justice are the expected starters up front on offense.

The defensive line – WVU's deepest and most talented under fifth-year head coach Rich Rodriguez – worked explosion and getting the correct angles through a defender.

Nose guard Ernest Hunter, now topping 300 pounds, looked particularly trim at his new position. Linemates Johnny Dingle and Keilen Dykes are also in solid shape.

Several other players have made noticeable changes to their bodies Quarterback Jarret Brown, and wideout Darius Reynaud have added size and strength, while tight end Lou Davis has dropped into the mid-280 pound range.

All seven potential quarterbacks took snaps in the early part of practice, and also operated in drills with the superbacks and fullback Owen Schmidt. The secondary and linebacking units also worked individually with coaches Tony Gibson and defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, respectively.

The drills were kept bland, something expected in the first few days as players shake off rust and coaches whittle positions down to anticipated starters and reserves.

BlueGoldNews Top Stories