MORGANTOWN – Following the 2013 season, the Mountaineers are suddenly short at the wide receiver position. With four seniors departing, and others who left mid season, Dana Holgorsen found himself in need of skilled wide outs in recruiting.
Head coach Dana Holgorsen and his group of assistant coaches did their best to bring in the best talent from around the nation. Lonnie Galloway is taking over as the new receivers coach, and can only dream the former play makers were still around.
"Yeah I wish Tavon and Stedman were coming back," said Galloway. "But it's a challenge that we're all willing to jump in for. The guys, it's time for them to step up."
Headlining the new talent coming in will be Shelton Gibson, a 6-1 wide receiver coming from Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Gibson played in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl this year, and was widely considered a four-star recruit.
Gibson chose the Mountaineers over the home state Buckeyes and the Tennessee Volunteers.
Another athlete looking to come in and create an impact is Mario Alford. Slightly shorter than Gibson, Alford stands 5-foot-9. He is a junior college transfer who has enrolled at WVU for the spring semester.
"I talked with Shelton and I met with Mario and I just let them know that I'll be here coaching them," said Galloway. When asked about if he had worked with either of them prior to joining the coaching staff, Galloway denied saying he had only heard of Gibson.
Three other route runners were added on signing day this year. Kevin White, another junior college transfer, will be the biggest receiver head coach Dana Holgorsen has had since he arrived in West Virginia. He stands a towering 6-foo-4 and will be a physical athlete on the team.
Last season at Lackawanna College, White totaled 535 receiving yards on 36 receptions. He was offered by Big 12 rival Texas Tech.
"The oldest guy on our receiving corp right now is Kevin White," said Holgorsen. "These guys need to be able to come in and play right away, otherwise would wouldn't have went the junior college route."
It's no secret that the production in offense from last season has disappeared. The trio of Austin, Bailey, and Woods, who accounted for a total of 3,548 of Geno Smith's 4,205 passing yards will all be gone.
The next leading receiver on the team was running back Andrew Buie who finished with 318 yards on 28 catches.
Spring practices aren't too far off for the West Virginia football program. Holgorsen will look to keep an eye on his JUCO commits who will be practicing with them. For now, the receiving corp on this team remains a question mark.