Depth chart just about set for WVU
MORGANTOWN - Unless some things happen between now and Sept. 1, West Virginia's football depth chart for its opening game against Marshall seems pretty much set.
And there are virtually no surprises for anyone who followed the movements on that chart over the two-plus weeks of preseason camp.
Coach Dana Holgorsen updated his team's depth chart Monday following two-plus weeks of practice and another day of evaluation, and it was exactly as expected.
In fact, only on defense are there substantial changes from the depth chart Holgorsen had going into camp. And those changes primarily involve position switches rather than new faces.
According to the new depth chart, the three starters along the front of WVU's 3-4 defense will be Shaq Rowell at nose tackle, flanked by Will Clarke at tackle and Jorge Wright at end. Wright began fall camp at nose tackle, flanked by Clarke and Tyler Anderson.
Anderson is still in the lineup, but at the Buck linebacker position, which is essentially a big linebacker who can move down to the line and give the defense a 4-3 look. Jewone Snow was listed in that position at the start of camp, but was moved early and also injured. He's the most significant absence on the new depth chart, listed nowhere.
The other linebackers listed are Terence Garvin at the Star position, along with Jared Barber at Will and Doug Rigg at Sam, the two inside spots.
In the secondary, Pat Miller and Brodrick Jenkins are the cornerbacks, with Darwin Cook and true freshman Karl Joseph at the safeties.
As for depth, the corners listed behind Jenkins and Miller include Cecil Level, Avery Williams and two true freshmen, Nana Kyeremeh and Ricky Rumph. K.J. Dillon is the backup to Cook, who has also been injured.
Other true freshmen on the defensive depth chart are Christian Brown and Korey Harris along the defensive line and Sean Walters at linebacker.
The No. 1 offense has almost no changes from the pre-camp depth chart, save for freshman Jordan Thompson being listed as one of the two slot receivers. He replaces J.D. Woods there, but Woods is now a starter at one of the two outside spots. The other receivers are All-America candidates Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
Notable by his absence anywhere on the depth chart at receiver is Ivan McCartney, who has spent most of his two-plus years at WVU bouncing into and out of favor with the coaches.
The offensive line consists of Quinton Spain and Pat Eger at tackles, Josh Jenkins and Jeff Braun at guards and Joe Madsen at center. The quarterback, of course, is Geno Smith, while Shawne Alston is listed as the No. 1 running back ahead of Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison.
Only two true freshmen are listed on the offensive depth chart - Thompson and third-string quarterback Ford Childress.
As expected, Tyler Bitancurt is the place-kicker and Corey Smith will do kickoffs. Smith is also listed ahead of Mike Molinari at punter.
Jerry Cooper and freshman John DePalma are both listed as long snappers, Molinari the holder and Austin the primary returner for both punts and kickoffs.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.