WVU Should Have A Full Backfield This Fall - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Should Have A Full Backfield This Fall


The West Virginia University offense clearly put some points on the board last season, but if there was a weak spot it was on the ground.

Tavon Austin's insertion into the backfield late into the season certainly helped the running attack. Ultimately WVU averaged 172 yards per game on the ground.

Those numbers are expected to rise this season behind a four-headed monster. Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison are back and experienced. Dreamius Smith and Wendell Smallwood are spending their first spring with the Mountaineers.

Those five players competing for the pigskin is fostering some great competition in the backfield.

"It is just nice to have four good and capable bodies," WVU Head Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "It is the first time since I have been here that we have four good and capable bodies. They are all a little bit different."

Smith is a bigger body, yet has the agility to make some moves in the open field. Smallwood has more speed and good hands out of the backfield. Buie has the experience to hit the hole while Garrison has the patience to wait for a hole to develop as well as good hands out of the backfield to aid in the passing attack.

"There is no sense in a depth chart right now," Holgorsen said. "With nine more practices, we are going to continue to find out what each and every one of them do well. They are bring something different to the table."

There is another player having more and more of a presence in the backfield. Cody Clay is the fullback, tight end hybrid type of player that is doing well this spring.

"The guy I really like right now is Cody Clay," Running Backs Coach JaJuan Seider said. "He is competing his butt off. He is doing a lot of stuff for us."

Clay's primary role may initially be more of a blocker to try and spring any one of the four running backs previously discussed. However, he is capable of being a multi-dimensional weapon for West Virginia.

"The kid is just doing everything," Seider said with a smile. "He is playing attached, detached, blocking and catching the ball. I am really impressed with what he is doing."

There is still plenty of time for this competition to continue. Seven practices remain this spring. That will be followed by summer workouts and a full training camp prior to the season opener against William & Mary.

"That is going to be a fun battle to watch," Holgorsen said. "As you know, we are going to be using them all in one way or another."

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