West Virginia hosted more than 100 players at its one-day football camp on Sunday, and several of those turned in solid performances on the partly cloudy but warm day.
The camp, a one day affair for rising seniors, featured players from several states in position drills and one-on-one action for approximately three hours on Sunday. After going through measurements for height, weight, forty-yard dash and vertical leap, the players split out by position for several periods of work with West Virginia's assistant coaches.
With between 10-20 players per position, each attendee had plenty of chances to go through repetitions and receive instructions from the Mountaineer coaches. Much of the tutoring centered on fundamentals, such as stance, footwork and positioning.
The concluding periods of the day were devoted to one-on-ones. Quarterbacks threw passes to running backs, wide receivers and tight ends against coverage from defensive backs, safeties and linebackers, while offensive and defensive linemen went head-to-head in pass blocking work.
Running back Richie Dyer turned in a blazing 4.39 time in the 40-yard dash -- the best of the day by any player.
A pair of defensive lineman that showed up well were Corey Marshall and Kyle Warholic. Marshall, a stocky defensive lineman, showed surprising straight-line speed and excelled in one-on-ones, routinely beating his foes and getting to the "quarterback" (a tackling dummy set up in passing position behind the line). Likewise, Warholic showed a nice work ethic, going at every rep hard and getting a good push against his opponents.
Longtime Mountaineer fans will know the name Curlin Beck, who sealed the 41-27 win over Oklahoma in 1982 with an untouched up-the-gut draw for a 43-yard touchdown. Beck, now a high school coach in New Jersey, has a prospect in son Derek, a 6-4 wide receiver who has been squeezing in a handful of camp visits while completing his junior academic year. An excessive number of snow days extended Beck's classes through this week, but he didn't let that stop him from a solid performance. He caught the ball well and ran solid routes, getting open for a number of catches.
Another Mountaineer tie hit the field a few moments late in the form of Brian Athey, a quarterback from Eden Prairie, Minn. Athey's tardiness was well-excused, however, as he had just helped the Eden Prairie baseball team win its second consecutive baseball championship the day before. Athey then rushed to catch a flight east and made his way to Morgantown in time for WVU's camp.
Once there, Athey showed solid mechanics, highlighted by a nice overhand release that took maximum advantage of his height. He's also a collegiate baseball prospect, but is certainly a player to watch on the football field this year.
His WVU connection? None other than his grandfather, former WVU assistant coach and current radio football analyst Dwight Wallace.
Among a solid collection of defensive prospects, linebacker Nick Rossi stood out. A strongly built player who reminds observers of former Mountaineer standout Marc Magro, Rossi displayed a serious approach to the day's events, working hard through drills and competing strongly in one-on-one work.
BlueGoldNews.com will have more from camp visitors soon, including interviews and updates on many other players in attendance.