Spring Practice Report: Day Five

Tuesday mornings' 6:00 a.m. practice was different than any spring practice the Mountaineers' have seen this spring. Not only was it the earliest session held in recent memory, it was better.

Head coach Bill Stewart had very few complaints following the Mountaineers' early morning practice. He joked that he had to find things to yell about.

"I saw a couple of red shirt (injured) guys and I yelled at them to get their helmets," said Stewart. "I had to find something to yell about. They looked at me like ‘We haven't had them for four days.' I made them get them today."

After being scolded by Stewart last week, the offense has been working diligently to get back in the head coach's good graces. That work showed well for much of the early morning session, in which West Virginia's offense showed improvement in both the running and passing game.

Senior wide receiver Wes Lyons continued to impress. He caught a few balls with only two slip-ups during the hour and a half practice. Lyons missed one ball that was slightly overthrown by quarterback Jarrett Brown and almost had another picked off by defensive back Keith Tandy. Senior receiver Carmen Connolly had an impressing diving catch that landed him out of bounds. The Pennsylvania native has shown the ability to make tough catches all spring, and his sure-handed grabs are certainly giving him a chance to move up the depth chart.

Freshman quarterback Coley White had a nice run on the quarterback keeper than couldn't help but remind you of another running quarterback by the same last name. His arm is showing constant improvement, which included a solid pass to receiver J.D. Woods that picked up a first down.

Sophomore running back Mark Rodgers continued practicing with the ones. Rodgers efforts during the absence of junior Noel Devine have been enough to put him in a position to fight for playing time. Rodgers continually fights for the extra yardage when carrying the ball and finishes runs strongly. While he doesn't have Devine's package of moves and elusiveness, he does have the ability to be a solid offensive weapon.

The defense also continued to impress, with junior J. T. Thomas leading the way in the early morning workout. Senior linebacker Reed Williams missed Tuesday's practice due to illness.

"(Williams) has what's going around," said Stewart. "He's probably not very happy to be missing today."

Special teams were able to take the day off due to the cold weather, which moved the session to the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility. Some aspects, such as snaps, were worked on, however, and both sophomore Cody Nutter and junior Jeremy Kash looked solid in that play phase.

Spring drills return to their normal time on Wednesday. WVU will also hold coaching clinics on Thursday and Friday.

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