Added Threat

With the Mountaineers football team looking to add more to their passing game this fall, wide receivers are under the gun to show that they can do more than block.

One of the players vying to show he can get open and catch the ball is junior Gino Crump, who is finally getting "a chance" according to head Coach Bill Stewart.

Crump came to West Virginia last season after attending Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia and Glendale (Ariz.) Community College, where he began to make some West Virginia connections.

"I got in contact with Coach Dale Wolfley at Phoenix College and once he got the job here I just asked if there was any way that I could come here and play," said Crump. "He just got the ball rolling after that." Wolfley, who now holds a staff position in the Mountaineer program, helped that ball roll into Morgantown right before the beginning of the Mountaineers' summer camp last year. Crump was ultimately redshirted last season, but did get some valuable experiences during his year off the field. Crump was able to dress for every home game and traveled to the Colorado game before the decision to redshirt him was final.

"In the off season, I just really worked on getting stronger, faster, and building my body up so that I can be a more physical receiver," said Crump. "(I worked on) being able to bring something else to the table. We have a lot of smaller guys at the receiver position so I was trying to bring something else to the table that no one else could really bring."

After getting one year under his belt, Crump is anxious to contribute on the field and confident in his ability to do so.

"I feel like I was ready (to contribute) last year really," admitted Crump. "The coaches thought that I needed a year to redshirt. I am happy with the situation that I was in last year. I felt like it gave me a chance to hone my skills and better prepare myself for a chance when I am on the field. I felt like I was ready but I am more confident now that I had that year off to really work on things." During the pass dominated spring, Crump has been pleased with the efforts from himself and his fellow receivers. As they continue to gel through the remainder of spring practice and into the fall, Crump predicts big things from the group.

"I feel like we have a great receiving corps here," said Crump. "I feel like if we all get on the same page we will be a serious threat, not only in the Big East but on the national stage as well."

Crump is excited to work with quarterback Jarrett Brown this season. The senior quarterback has been excellent during his final spring, firing on-target darts to his receivers as he runs the modified passing game, which should be a good fit for his skills.

"I think we're definitely going to throw the ball a little bit more," said Crump. "Considering that we have Jarrett back there and he's had time to learn the offense I think we have a really good chance to throw the ball very well."

Of course, spring practice is a long way from the real fields of play of the fall, and West Virginia's improving receivers will have to show that they can get open and catch the ball in those venues as well. To date, however, Crump and teammates such as Wes Lyons and Alric Arnett have shown the ability to do so, and if they can continue that performance WVU will have the chance to field the balanced offense it is striving for.

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