Devonte Mathis Does His Best Collin Klein Impersonation - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Devonte Mathis Does His Best Collin Klein Impersonation


Occasionally college football teams will run into an opponent that has a different kind of player on their team. Most teams probably have a hard time preparing to face a receiver as dynamic as Tavon Austin. Coaches want to get their players ready for what they will see each week.

This week West Virginia University has to prepare for a unique quarterback in Kansas State's Collin Klein. Klein stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 226 pounds. The difficult part about defending him is his deceptive speed and ability to run the ball balanced against his ability to throw the ball.

How does WVU simulate that kind of dual threat?

The answer is Devonte Mathis. Mathis is a freshman wide receiver. He stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 219 pounds.

"We put the closest thing we could out there to be him," Linebacker Doug Rigg said. "Mathis is a pretty big guy who can run too since he is a receiver. He has done a great job. He is doing some of the things Klein does by running patient, cuts stuff back and has enough speed too. He is not as big obviously, but it is the closest thing we could get to a good look at Collin Klein."

Mathis' successful or poor impersonation of Klein could play a big role in whether or not the defense slows down the Kansas State offense.

"Devonte did good, he can throw so he mimicked him pretty good," Linebacker Terence Garvin said. "When you see a bigger guy running at you, you have to learn how to wrap him up and get him down."

That is one of the biggest problems for opposing defenses, getting Klein down. He almost always falls forward and usually requires more than one defender to get the job done.

"Collin Klein is a freak of nature," Defensive Lineman Shaq Rowell stated. "You won't find too many guys that can do what he does. "You got to have all 11 guys to the ball and we won't have to worry about two guys trying to bring him down. If you get all 11 there, I guarantee you he will be going down to his knees. If all 11 of us get there we won't have to worry about getting that big dude down."

Klein has carried the ball 98 times this season for 510 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also has success through the air completing 79 of 118 passes for 1,074 yards and seven touchdowns. Opponents have to respect his passing ability while trying to keep one eye on whether or not he will take off and run.

"He is the type of guy you always have to keep an eye on," Garvin said. "He will take off at any time. That is one thing I have seen about him. He is big and can run so he is one guy you always have to spy and keep an eye on."

"He has deceptive speed," Rigg said. "I think a lot of teams that played him dropped off in coverage and thought our d-line can handle him. He was outrunning a lot of guys and he has enough athleticism to make a move in the open field. We have to keep an eye on him. Every time I drop I have to keep an eye on him and if nobody is in my zone I am going to get him every time."

It all starts with Klein, but Kansas State is not successful just because of him. John Hubert is a dangerous running back with 606 yards rushing this season and eight touchdowns. There are two receivers playing well for the Wildcats. Chris Harper leads the team in receptions with 19. Tramaine Thompson leads the team with 283 receiving yards. He also leads the team with three receiving touchdowns.

Between Collin Klein and Geno Smith, football fans should enjoy watching these two quarterbacks go at it on Saturday. Devonte Mathis will surely be watching to see just how well he portrayed Kansas State's Klein in practice.

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