Wilson Runs Tough

Recovering from a knee injury can be a difficult task for anyone, let alone a running back who depends on that vital joint for just about everything he does. Quincy Wilson demonstrated this spring that he's all the way back from his knee injury in the spring of 2000.

If there were any doubts about Wilson's physical or mental recovery, they were quickly dispelled this spring as he dealt out almost as many hits as he received. A common practice sight was Quincy lowering his shoulder and delivering punishment to defenders attempting to tackle him.

Observers at practice are used to hearing the crack of pads and helmets as defenders deliver hits, but oftentimes this spring it was Wilson who created that sound.

"I've definitely been working on that," Wilson said following WVU's spring game. "The coaches have been telling me all spring 'don't stop your feet, run hard, get upfield. You're 210, those DBs are less than 200.' They want me to punish some guys, so in the fourth quarter they won't want to tackle you.

"I tried to run as physically and as hard as I can. A lot of times, there are a lot of guys in there, so I just try to run harder and get the extra yards [after contact]."

One of the players who had a couple of monumental collisions with Wilson this spring was linebacker Grant Wiley. Wiley, who is one of the hardest and most intense hitters on the defense, cites Wilson's body type and drive as major factors in his hard driving running style.

"If you look at Quincy's lower body, you know he's got some power. His legs are gigantic, and every time you hit him, you've got to bring it.

"I hit him on a fake reverse, and I was driving my legs, and he was strong enough to absorb it and spin out of it. I should have made the tackle, but going against backs like him, that's going to happen."

Like any good back, Wilson is quick to credit his offensive line, which he believes progressed a great deal during the spring, despite the injuries that left them barely able to field a complete unit during the spring game.

"They really worked hard. Coach Trickett is on them every day, and my hat is off to them. They only had seven guys for the last practices, and they made it through. Those are the guys that get it done."

Much is made of the lost practice time affecting the cohesiveness of the offensive line, but it can also have a slight effect on the running backs as well. Wilson says that backs can get used to certain linemen and their tendencies, and that familiarity is lost when the line is constantly being juggled. However, he notes that he reads the defense more than the offense once the play begins, so that problem is a minor one at worst.

West Virginia's offense was more diversified in the running game this spring, showing some I-formation, some split backs, and some option. The option package was an adjustment for Wilson, but he took to it rapidly.

"We worked all spring on the option and the two back sets. You're always trying to get better every day. One day you might be concentrating on your reads, the next day on catching the ball, the next day on blocking. The important thing is to put it all together at the end.

"I think we ran the ball well. Hikee and Moe both ran it well, and even Adam Cantoni had some nice carries. I think we're on track, and I think we'll be ok this fall."


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