MORGANTOWN - Fans won't be the only ones in attendance at 1 p.m. today at Milan Puskar Stadium as several individuals looking to add their names to the Class of 2015 recruiting class also will be on hand to witness fourth-year head coach Dana Holgorsen take his Mountaineers through their final practice of the spring in West Virginia's Gold/Blue Scrimmage.
Among the group of 20 or so prospects will be Morgantown High School senior-to-be Stone Wolfley as well as Hubbard (Ohio) offensive lineman Matt Jones. All should be in for a good time as the weather is expected to be in the mid-70s.
What they, and the thousands of Mountaineer fans that will make the trek from all around the Mountain State, will see a mixed bag as the offense has shown signs of developing a solid running attack behind Dreamius Smith, Dustin Garrison, Andrew Buie, Wendell Smallwood and University of Pittsburgh transfer Rushel Shell.
Photo by Jim Butta
Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson (middle) directs a drill involving quarterback prospects Paul Millard (14), Skylar Howard (3), Logan Moore (16) and Gregory McPherson (17) during last Saturday’s practice at the University of Charleston’s Laidley Field. WVU closes out spring practice with the annual Gold/Blue Scrimmage at 1 p.m.
Then, again, the defense has had just as many highlights this spring with 2013 standouts Isaiah Bruce, Nick Kwiatkoski, Brandon Golson, Karl Joseph and K.J. Dillon all registering bone-jarring tackles during the team's 15 practices.
One thing those in attendance will not, in all likelihood, witness will be WVU's starting quarterback when the Mountaineers open the 2014 campaign against Alabama in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Senior Paul Millard and junior college transfer Skylar Howard have been locked in a tight battle all spring with Florida State transfer Clint Trickett, who started eight games during WVU's 4-8 season in 2013, walking the sidelines recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
Millard, who completed 93-of-168 attempts for 1,122 yards and six touchdowns, has had the more solid spring, but Howard, who completed 219-of-325 passes for 3,151 yards and 33 touchdowns at Riverside (Calif.) College, has had just enough bright moments to make fans wonder if he won't be on the field when the offense goes up against the Tide's defense in late August.
Admission to this year's contest is $10 with part of the proceeds to be donated to the West Virginia University Children's Hospital.
The format pits the offense (gold) against the defense (blue). Points will be scored traditionally for the offense as a touchdown will be worth six points, extra point one and field goal three while the defense will be awarded points every time it forces a three-and-out or gets a turnover. Should a turnover result in a score then the defense will be awarded six points.
Offensively, look for Tyler Orlosky at center with Quinton Spain (left) and Mark Glowinski (right) at the guards and Adam Pankey (left) and Marquis Lucas (right) at the tackles. The starting receivers will, in all likelihood, be Mario Alfred, Daikiel Shorts and Kevin White with the 'B' back being Cody Clay.
Fans can also expect to see Michael Calicchio, Russell Haughton-James, Tony Matteo, Stone Underwood, Marcell Lazard and Sylvester Townes rotating in up front as well as Devonte Mathis, Jacky Marcellus, Jordan Thompson, Vernon Davis, K.J. Myers and Ricky Rogers at receiver.
Defensively, Parkersburg's D.J. Carozza, a redshirt freshman, has moved his way into the line's depth chart at nose tackle after electing to join the Mountaineers as an invited walk-on following his senior year as a Big Red.
"It's exciting just to see my name on the depth chart," Carozza said following last Saturday's practice at the University of Charleston's Laidley Field. "I knew when I came here as an invited walk-on that I would have my work cut out for me, but it's been worth it and I'm hoping to show the coaches what I can do on Saturday."
Up front fans can expect to see Dontrill Hyman or Noble Nwachukwi at one end with Kyle Rose or Eric Kinsey at the other. Sophomores Christian Brown and Darrien Howard and junior Brandon Jackson sit ahead of Carozza at nose.
The linebackers will be Dillon (Spur), Bruce (Sam), Kwiatkoski (Mike), and Golson (Will) with Marvin Gross, Malik Greaves, Edward Muldrow, Al-Rasheed Benton, Jewone Snow, Sean Walters and Hodari Christian expected to see plenty of action.
In the secondary, look for Joseph and sophomore Jeremy Tyler at the safeties with senior Ishmael Banks and sophomore Daryl Worley at the corners. Others who will see time in the secondary include Terrell Chesnut, Brandon Napoleon, Ricky Rumph, Jarrod Harper, Keishawn Richardson and Nana Kyeremeh.
Attendees are reminded that the Mountaineers will hold their Fan Day in August.