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.
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.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.
WVU DEPTH CHART
WR (X) - K.J. Myers, Daikiel Shorts
LT - Quinton Spain, Nick Kindler
LG - Marquis Lucas, Tony Matteo
C - Pat Eger, Ty;er Orlosky