WVU Spring Practice Report: Day 12

West Virginia began its final week of spring football practice with another of the seemingly new traditional 6:00 a.m. practices in the Caperton indoor practice facility. Like many of the practices this spring, there were both high and low points during the early morning session.

"Every day there is good and bad," said offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen, who along with defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, met with the media in the stead of head coach Bill Stewart. "You can't really say until you look at the tape and evaluate it but I was really happy."

The passing game was again a focal point of the workout, with skeleton drills and one-on-ones taking up several periods of work. After stretches and individual drills, the wide receivers and cornerbacks got together for skeleton drills just as they have all spring. The receivers were showcased during the drills and did well in getting downfield and creating separation.

The drills were also a chance to witness freshman quarterback Coley White's ever-improving passing skills. While those have been incremental in nature, he is throwing the ball with a better release and with more authority than he did last fall.

The defensive backs got off to a slower start, and were again doing some pushups after some shaky play during the early periods, but the secondary bounced back during full squad work. Senior Guesly Dervil swatted down a pass intended for freshman receiver J.D. Woods. Senior defensive back Nate Sowers kept focused on the ball as he almost picked off a pass by Jarrett Brown, and came close to grabbing up another ball on the next play.

The offense had its moments as well, balancing out the good for both sides. Freshman receiver Logan Heastie was part of some good plays, including a 10-yard catch down the middle of the field – an area that West Virginia will try to attack more this year. Heastie also caught a pass from Brown after the quarterback scrambled to buy some time.

The progression of Heastie, who has certainly gotten a quick education this spring, has been pleasing to the coaches.

"It's fun to watch (Heastie) make some plays," said Mullen.

Senior Wes Lyons continued to stand out at the receiver position. The 6'8" receiver used his height and reach to make a catch in the in zone despite being surrounded by a sea of smaller defenders. Lyons made another catch down the sideline as he outran the two defenders on him in a race to the ball.

The passing-focused practice kept the running backs from seeing the ball until the final periods. Junior Noel Devine had a couple of runs down each sideline, and showed better patience and decision making in running the zone. Although Devine did not have many touches, he again showcased his remarkable speed and quickness when he got his hands on the ball.

The offense went into a NASCAR alert at the end of practice where they worked on getting a play off and then rushing the field goal unit onto the field for a quick attempt. Freshman Tyler Bitancurt was the kicker during this series. While his kicks looked good, they hit the nets that are lowered at one end of the facility, and thus did not make it to the goalpost that is wheeled out to provide an aiming point for kicks.

The Mountaineers have just two more regular spring practices, on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, before the annual Gold/Blue game at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18.


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