MORGANTOWN - Lonnie Galloway and Shannon Dawson both spent a decent portion of West Virginia's preseason camp talking about the Mountaineers' depth at wide receiver.
Sometimes, though, it was difficult to tell just what they thought of it.
Yes, there were a whole lot of bodies there. Camp started with no less than 20 players on the roster with "WR'' beside their name. Even after Connor Arlia and Will Johnson moved on, there were still 18. Subtract the hybrid types who are really fullbacks in disguise and lop off a couple of walk-ons, and still the number of guys on scholarship whose primary job is to line up and go catch passes is a baker's dozen.
But can they? Go catch passes, we mean?
"Right now we just have numbers,'' said Dawson, the offensive coordinator who coached the receivers last year and then moved to the quarterbacks this. "There's a difference between potential and actual production.
"Right now I think we do have the potential to have depth at receiver. But you never know the mental capability of people, especially young kids, kids who haven't played in a game under that amount of pressure.''
Indeed, with most of WVU's receptions last year having graduated to the NFL - Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and J.D. Woods combined to catch 289 of the 339 passes by non-running backs last season - there is a huge void. In fact, throw in a handful of other seniors or no-longer-with-the-program guys and guess how many wide receiver catches return from last season.
Try 26 of 339. That's not even eight percent.
Oh, and even among the few veterans in WVU's receiving corps, there are few who have been under pressure. Ivan McCartney and Jordan Thompson, who combined for 22 of those 26 catches last year, have played and have been in games at critical points. But with Austin, Bailey and Woods around, they've always tended to be third and fourth options, not primary receivers.
That's why all that depth still leaves a huge question mark, because none of them have actually played under pressure.
"We have depth in terms of just bodies,'' Dawson said. "And they're capable bodies that look the part and run the part and all that. But adding the pressure of making plays is a whole different deal. And we don't know who that's going to be.''
Well, they have a pretty good idea about who at least one of those will be. And they don't hide it very well.
Even while spending the last week sidelined in a green medical jersey, Kevin White's name kept jumping out. Actually, the fact that he did spend the last week in green might say volumes in terms of the coaching staff not wanting to risk any further injury.
"It's just a sore shoulder,'' White said. "At least I hope that's all it is. I could practice if I had to.''
Ask Galloway the same questions about the depth at wide receiver and you get pretty much the same answer - yes, there are plenty of bodies and they all look like receivers, but who knows?
"They're all doing well, all pretty much the same,'' said Galloway, back as the receivers coach after a two-year hiatus at Wake Forest. "Well, there's one guy who has elevated his game above the rest, but we won't go there.''