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WVU's 'very tentative' depth chart out

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Given that Dana Holgorsen has held virtually all of West Virginia's spring football practices behind closed doors, it's difficult to tell who is playing, let alone how they are playing.

Well, Thursday night, Holgorsen provided a few answers at least to the "who" part of that equation when he grudgingly passed along his team's first depth chart of the spring.

"Just understand that it's very tentative,'' said Holgorsen, whose arm was twisted by the school's sports information office in order to have a depth chart published for the April 20 Gold-Blue game. "That could change on a day-to-day basis. We really haven't even talked to guys about being starters.

"But there are the guys we're lining up on first-team offense, first-team defense. But that could change [at the next practice] Saturday morning, it could change next Tuesday, it could change for the spring game.''

For the most part there are not any shocking surprises on that depth chart. There are six players listed as starters on offense who have not seen much or any action in the past, but all are at positions (wide receiver, quarterback and offensive line) where veteran stars have moved on. On defense, there are far fewer legitimate rookies in the mix, primarily because so many young players got their feet wet last season.

"If nothing else you can see who's playing what position,'' Holgorsen said. "But obviously first team now might mean second team in the fall. We're bringing at least 20 guys in this summer that we expect to compete for playing time.''

The defense includes five starters who have not been consistent regulars in the past and four freshmen listed as backups who have never played a college snap. One, linebacker Hodari Christian, is a freshman who enrolled in January.

The offense includes two players who enrolled in January on the two-deep at wide receiver. Junior college transfer Kevin White is listed as a starter at one of the outside positions and freshman Daikiel Shorts is the backup at the other. Also, five of the six players listed on the depth chart at the two guard positions and center have very limited experience or none at all.

And, of course, Holgorsen did not distinguish between his quarterbacks. In fact, not only did he list junior Paul Millard and redshirt freshman Ford Childress as either/or on the first team, he threw true freshman Chavas Rawlins in that mix, too.

Offensively, Conner Arlia is listed as the slot receiver and K.J. Myers the other wide receiver opposite White. Andrew Buie is listed as the tailback ahead of Dustin Garrison and junior college transfer Dreamius Smith. Cody Clay is also listed as a starter, at fullback.

The offensive tackles, as expected, are Quinton Spain and Curtis Feigt and the center is Pat Eger. Besides Eger, though, all of the interior linemen are relative newcomers - starting guards Marquis Lucas and Mark Glowinski and backups Tyler Orlosky, Tony Matteo and Russell Haughton-James.

On defense there are few real surprises among those listed as starters. The front line is Will Clark, Shaq Rowell and Kyle Rose, the linebackers Wes Tonkery, Isaiah Bruce, Nick Kwiatkoski and Dozie Ezemma, the safeties Karl Joseph and Darwin Cook and the cornerbacks Nana Kyeremeh and Brodrick Jenkins.

The newest players on the defensive two-deep are Christian and redshirt freshmen Brandon Napoleon at corner, Jarrod Harper at safety and Noble Nwachukwu at end.

  • BRIEFLY: Offensive lineman Adam Pankey had knee surgery Wednesday and Holgorsen said he would be out until at least October. Whether the 6-foot-5, 323-pound redshirt freshman tries to play at all in 2013 won't be known until at least September.
  • Buie, listed as the starting tailback, missed Thursday's practice with a hamstring injury, but Eger was back in at least a limited practice role after injuring an ankle last week. Holgorsen said both should be considered day-to-day.
  • As for the other injured players, Holgorsen said receiver Dante Campbell (shoulder) and cornerback Terrell Chestnut (knee) are expected to be released to return to workouts by July and linebacker Jewone Snow (shoulder) by May. Cornerback Avery Williams is practicing on a limited basis, but won't be allowed to work fully until May.

  • This weekend is the football program's annual coaching clinic, which Holgorsen expects will draw nearly 300 coaches. Steve Dunlap, who is now the program's director of high school relations, said that about 170 have preregistered.
  • Holgorsen also said the team has not had a full scrimmage in the first 11 spring practices and won't until Tuesday's 13th of 15 workouts. The offense and defense do go against each other in mini-scrimmages most days.
  • Holgorsen confirmed that Vernon Davis, the Miami transfer who arrived as a cornerback, has been moved to receiver. Holgorsen said he liked the way he caught the ball and ran with punts and he was also languishing in the background among the corners.
  • Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickman1@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.

    WVU DEPTH CHART

    OFFENSE

    WR (X) - K.J. Myers, Daikiel Shorts

    LT - Quinton Spain, Nick Kindler

    LG - Marquis Lucas, Tony Matteo

    C - Pat Eger, Ty;er Orlosky

    RG - Mark Glowinski, Russell Haughton-James

    RT - Curtis Feigt, Nick Kindler

    WR (Y) - Connor Arlia, Jordan Thompson

    WR (Z) - Kevin White, Devonte Mathis

    QB - Paul Millard or Ford Childress or Chavas Rawlins

    HB - Cody Clay, Will Johnson

    RB - Andrew Buie, Dustin Garrison, Dreamius Smith

    DEFENSE

    DE - Will Clarke, Eric Kinsey

    NG - Shaq Rowell, Christian Brown

    DE - Kyle Rose, Noble Nwachukwu

    Spur - Wes Tonkery, Hodari Christian

    Sam - Isaiah Bruce, Doug Rigg

    Will - Nick Kwiatkoski, Jared Barber

    Buck - Dozie Ezemma, Garrett Hope

    SS - Darwin Cook, Jarrod Harper

    CB - Nana Kyeremeh, Brandon Napoleon

    CB - Brodrick Jenkins, Ricky Rumph

    FS - Karl Joseph, K.J. Dillon

     


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