More On His Plate

Mountaineer head coach Bill Stewart said Wednesday that he "put a lot of weight on Chris's shoulders" in giving Chris Beatty the jobs of recruiting coordinator and fullbacks coach on top of what he had already been doing. But the young WVU assistant coach said he looks forward to the challenge.

As it stands today, Beatty is now the position coach for running backs, fullbacks and slot receivers in addition to his new duties as recruiting coordinator.

It's a lengthy list that might require a smaller font size if he hopes to fit all of those titles on new business cards, but Beatty said he didn't mind the extra responsibility.

"I'm good with it," said the Centreville, Va., native. "I think all of us are team players, and we want to do the best we can to help the team. That's kind of the way we look at it. I'm looking forward to it, and it's definitely a challenge."

The move to the recruiting coordinator position, vacated when Doc Holliday took over as head coach at Marshall, was a natural one for one of WVU's most valuable recruiters.

Beatty's ties, particularly in the Tidewater area of Virginia, have proven significant to the Mountaineers' recruiting efforts since he joined the coaching staff after Stewart's hire as head coach in the early days of 2008.

He will continue to be responsible for West Virginia's recruiting in the Commonwealth, as well as those prospects that come out of the District of Columbia. That's one of the constants that survived the changes Beatty made to the recruiting territory assigned to each assistant coach.

"We've already gone about the process of changing some peoples' areas a little bit, and changing some areas of focus," said Beatty. "I think there's some areas we've done really well in, and some others we haven't done as well in for different reasons. We're going to move around some different people and try to attack it in that way."

"Other than that, it won't change too much. I'm still going to recruit the same areas I have been. We'll all piggyback on some different positions throughout the country, but that's really the biggest change."

Looking at the breakdown of each assistant's recruiting grounds, it's apparent there have been a few shifts.

Offensive line coach Dave Johnson will focus solely on Pittsburgh now, while recently-hired assistant Dave McMichael will take over the rest of the all-important recruiting ground of western Pennsylvania.

Those worried about losing a presence in Florida with the departure of Holliday should take notice that four WVU coaches will split up the Sunshine State -- with a particular focus on the talent-rich southern part of the state.

"Florida's always been good to us, so we're going to dedicate David Lockwood down there, Lonnie Galloway, obviously Kirlav [Bill Kirelawich] has done well in his area [and Johnson will also work in Florida] -- but a little bit less on the north side," said Beatty. "That's just a tougher area for us."

One of the most noteworthy moves is the decision to have two coaches work different parts of Georgia -- a state not in West Virginia's traditional areas of success.

Johnson, who was an assistant at UGA for several seasons, will be responsible for Cobb, Gwinnett and northern Fulton counties. Galloway will also work in Fulton, as well as Dekalb and Cobb counties.

Beatty said those moves weren't made as a result of any perceived weakness in the stranglehold of traditional Southeastern Conference powers on the talent-rich Peach State.

"That's a little bit deceiving, in the fact that it's a secondary area for us," he said. "It's not an active area that's been a great area for us, because it's just hard. There's a lot of competition from ACC and SEC schools. There's a lot of schools kids have to fly over to get to us. So it's not so much that we've [focused on Georgia] as it is that we've got some coaches that have ties in the area, so it's a good little secondary area."

A full breakdown of each assistant coach's recruiting territory, as decided by Beatty, can be seen by following this link.

But beyond those shifts, Beatty said he would change little as recruiting coordinator, as he instead is focused on continuing the success had by the Mountaineers in recent seasons.

"I don't think it's changed much all along," he said. "We all work together. I don't think it's me doing anything special. It's all of us working together. We have a could of different ideas, and we'll try to piggyback on the success we've had the past couple of years. We've gotten progressively better since we've gotten here. Hopefully we'll just continue to do that."

While recruiting is a year-round affair at this point, the focus for now is on preparations for the upcoming spring practice schedule. Adding Holliday's former duties as fullbacks coach to his own work with the running backs was a natural move, according to Beatty.

As a result, he's already identified one particular area of emphasis he'd like to work with returning fullback Ryan Clarke on.

"Last year, I think a lot of times, when you look at Ryan and some of those guys back there, you think of the touchdowns they scored," said Beatty. "You don't look at the blocking part of it. He's got to improve on that part."

"Obviously, he gives us some things in the run game -- a bigger back that got us a lot better on third downs. But those things, we'll build on and hopefully, we'll do a bit of a better job of blocking than we did last year and take the next step."

With Noel Devine and Jock Sanders returning for their senior seasons, Beatty has plenty of talent at the top of his rotation at running back.

But ideally, he would like for one of the younger players at that position to step up and assume the role of back-up, both to allow Sanders to focus solely on his play as a slot receiver and to build some experience at tailback for the following season.

"You'd like to see somebody step up and see somebody become the second guy, a full-time guy," Beatty said. "That way you can make touches for Jock, but at the same time, have a guy you feel like you can go to back there that's full-time."

"Shawne Alston's got to step up. He showed some glimpses last year. So does Daquan Hargrett. They need a big spring to try to step up to that No. 2 spot. It will be interesting to see."

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