"Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison are fighting for that No. 2 spot. They're having a heated battle right now."
Alston has certainly won Gillespie over.
"He's an all-around player right now," said the assistant coach. "He's one of the quickest-twitch guys we have. He's reliable catching the ball. We have a complete back right now."
Garrison, who began to make a mark last season then injured his knee before the Orange Bowl, seems healthy now.
"I told him today that nobody is going to talk about him having a knee brace on or being hurt anymore. He's back," Gillespie said. "He hasn't talked about it. He hasn't complained. He's taken the hits like everyone else.
"He's maybe a step off what he was, but every day he's getting better."
And, finally, rest assured that if Geno Smith goes down with an injury, WVU's quarterback will be sophomore Paul Millard.
"Paul is doing very well," said quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital. "We're putting him in a lot of tough situations. He's showing at times he can step up and be the guy next year. Then there are times when he needs to not be so greedy and get [the ball] to his check-downs, take care of the ball. But, overall, I'm very pleased how he's progressing."
Pleased enough to relax if Smith goes down?
"I'm comfortable with Paul going in there," Spavital said. "He's not afraid. He's got thick skin. Last year he threw that pick-six against UConn and then came back and slung it around the next series. He's very good at playing the next play and not letting things get to him. I'm pretty confident in Paul coming in and operating the offense at a pretty high level."
We're beginning to get the picture.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.