Stew's Views: Day One

West Virginia head football coach Bill Stewart touched on a handful of personnel issues and provided a first day assessment after the Mountaineers opened fall football camp on Saturday.

Stewart was upbeat, and not without some humorous touches, as he discussed the status of Tevita Finau, Jock Sanders and his team as a whole.

"Tevita is not here. He continues to work on both academic and personal issues. He has a lot on his plate right now personally," Stewart said. "He recently had a child with his wife, and we are happy for that. I still don't know the status of the progress with academics. He will continue to work on that. We're hoping he will join us as soon as possible."

Stewart termed communications with both Finau and his father "absolutely outstanding", and reiterated his hopes that Finau could join the Mountaineer program. "He's learning what being a husband and a father are about."

Sanders' status was clearer, although a final determination as to whether or not he will be on the field for the Liberty game remains up in the air.

Jock enrolled in a University-sponsored substance abuse program and did a tremendous job. At the end of July, he entered a plea agreement with the Monongalia County prosecutor's office, and his original case was dismissed. He will go on a conditional dismissal track.

"I have decided, with the full blessing of the student University judiciary committee, to reinstate Jock to the team. I believe that is the right thing to do. There are certain stipulations, and he is on a very short leash, and his game status is uncertain at this time.

Stewart then turned his attention to the play on the field.

"I was happy today with how we practiced. It was like clockwork. I was pleased with what I saw today. I'm can look you dead in the eye (here Stewart paused and met many of the media in attendance with a steely glare before breaking into a grin), and say that we are headed in the right direction. It was a good first day of Mountaineer football."


Geno Smith really impressed me, although he couldn't run at full speed. We don't want to stress him, and we don't want anyone to hit him. I'm not quite sure when he will be released for full speed, but the medical staff is on top of that. We are happy that he was able to do what he did today."

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Bradley Starks, right now, will be a "Z" receiver.

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Stewart also highlighted the play of three freshmen -- Tavon Austin on offense and Broderick Jenkins and Pat Miller, on defense. "We have some explosive skill. Austin, our two corners, Jenkins and Miller, were explosive. We have some young talent."

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The defense forced three turnovers in the seven on seven and team portions of the practice.

"Big old Robert Sands had a tip that Sidney Glover made a great interception on. Demar Harmon, who is Mookie Tate's brother, had an interception, and Nate Sowers had a strip. That's one of our goals, to get three turnovers in the team portion of each practice.

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