Buie Embracing Opportunity This Spring - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Buie Embracing Opportunity This Spring

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MORGANTOWN -

Two freshmen running backs emerged through fall camp and took on the responsibility of carrying the ball last season.

Buie won the starting job out of fall camp, but suffered numerous injuries throughout the season. He started two games and played in 11. Buie tallied 257 all-purpose yards and scored one touchdown.

Dustin Garrison emerged and eventually passed Buie on the depth chart. Garrison started eight games. He finished the 2011 season with 943 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns. Garrison played in 12 games, but missed the Orange Bowl due to a torn ACL suffered in practice the week of the game.

Garrison is still recovering from the torn ACL, so Buie is getting a bulk of the carries in spring ball along with Shawne Alston.

"You never want to see a guy go down, but when my number was called, I had to step in to do what God blessed me to be able to do," Buie said. "This spring I have been getting a lot of reps."

The extra reps are helping Buie get even more comfortable in the offense.

"I think it is going to be beneficial for me next season to get a lot of reps and get a better feel for it," Buie said.

Buie is getting a lot of positive reviews from the coaching staff this spring. Last fall he was a new freshman on campus and trying to learn a new offense. With an entire season under his belt, Buie certainly understands the offense better and is playing with more confidence. 

"You are not learning anymore, it is just refreshing," Buie stated. "Once you know what you are doing it allows you to play a whole lot faster and it allows you to play at a whole different level when you know what is going on."

Buie is taking advantage of the extra reps in practice. Once Garrison is healthy, it should be a strong competition for the starting job. That kind of competition could be tough for the two players involved, but not these two.

"Me and Dustin always had a good relationship because we were the two freshman backs that came in at the same time," Buie said. "It was never the kind of relationship where one guy feels jealous or spiteful of the other one. We always try to help each other out and push through."

Take a healthy Garrison, a more experienced Buie and a consistent Shawne Alston and WVU appears to have a pretty solid stable of running backs for the 2012 season.

"When we get everybody back healthy I think we can have a great one, two, three punch with me, Shawne [Alston] and Dustin [Garrison]," Buie stated.

Senior Ryan Clarke is also getting into the mix this spring. Clarke lost the privilege of carrying the ball due to numerous fumbles last spring. He embraced his role as a blocker and is now being rewarded with some carries. Throwing Clarke into the mix with the other three will allow WVU to throw some very different looks at opponents, especially in the three-back set Holgorsen likes to use. 

"It can be very effective just because of the fact that me and Shawne are big backs," Clarke said. "We can both block and we can run. Dustin and Buie are faster and they can also block. A lot of people don't know that they can block just as well as us."

Buie is working harder to be an even better blocker and succeeding. That success coupled with his comfort in the offense are leading to a sky-high confidence in 2012.

"My confidence is a whole lot higher this year," Buie stated. "Last year, I second-guessed myself a lot. Being in my second year of the offense and not learning anymore, just refreshing it, it allows me to play at another level. Once you know what is going on and you can play fast, your confidence starts coming out and it has been a good spring so far because I just feel like I am doing a good job right now."

Buie will look to show off that confidence in the Gold-Blue game on April 21.

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