Competition Pushing WVU Receivers to be Great - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Competition Pushing WVU Receivers to be Great


West Virginia's wide receiver group is starting from scratch this spring, but if you ask new assistant coach Lonnie Galloway, that's precisely how he likes it.

The competition Galloway sees at his position is one that will push the players who are tasked with replacing the record-breaking careers of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.

One of Galloway's biggest weapons is the 6-foot-3, 211-pound junior college transfer Kevin White, who has everything you want in a receiver as far as physical attributes are concerned. Galloway admits as a coach, he would like to have five or six Whites in his rotation, but he also cautions that it's too early to know precisely what the one he does have is capable of.

"Kevin is coming along. I don't want to toot Kevin's horn right now because he's been practicing for seven days, so right now, he's still part of the group," says Galloway. "We're expecting him to do a lot of great things for us, but for right now, he's just one of the guys for us out of the 12 that we've got that's out there working."

A new face in the rotation is that of Logan Moore, a quarterback who told the staff he wanted to get on the field in whatever way possible and now is getting his chance as a receiver.

It's still very early in the transition for Moore, a Fairmont native, but Galloway believes he has the right mentality and a clear understanding of the scheme that can help him make an impact.

"For him, playing quarterback, he knows the offense very well, just being in there with Coach [Shannon] Dawson and Ford [Childress] and Paul [Millard]," says Galloway. "It's good to have Logan in there. He's competing hard and right now, we're looking for those six, seven guys to go out there and play."

Unlike last season, when the top two receivers had cemented their place in the rotation and J.D. Woods quickly proved himself as the No. 3 guy, this race could ultimately produce the sort of two-deep that head coach Dana Holgorsen wants to see out of his receiving corps.

The situation can be viewed as WVU not having anyone with significant experience returning, or it can be viewed that with such a level playing field, those six or seven receivers Galloway says he's looking for could all be up to the task after a tough competition this spring.

"During the spring, we've all been competing, we're working hard in the weight room, we started finally practicing and everyone's been going at it, everyone's been making plays, everyone's been blocking well," says sophomore K.J. Myers. "It just makes me want to work even harder. I go home every night, I'm not [satisfied] with myself with any practice because I want to be great."

Clearly the production from Bailey, Austin and Woods made it so that West Virginia did not need to find such depth a year ago, but even if the back-ups weren't contributing so much on the stat sheet, it could have helped to know there was a capable body waiting on the sidelines.

"It would have been nice, even when Tavon was here, if they had somebody that was close to Tavon to be able to rest him," says Galloway, who recruited both Austin and Myers to WVU. "That's what we're striving for, trying to find the best six, seven guys that can go out there on the field where you're not missing a beat when you have to rotate them."

Based on his play in spring practice and in the fall camp as a freshman, some pegged Jordan Thompson as that next in line to Austin. He began the season starting as the team's second slot receiver, but when his production failed to live up to what the staff hoped based on his practices, he found his way to the team bench.

Thompson finished 2012 with just 85 yards on 13 receptions.

"He's showing a lot of progression," Galloway says of Thompson, whom the team refers to as "Squirt." "Squirt's working really hard. He is really working hard and wants to compete and wants to lead and be early and stay late and watch film and run the right routes, but as far as him being the next one – I mean, not saying that he couldn't be, but there's only one Tavon and we all know that. Squirt will do what he can do and Jordan should be Jordan and not try to be anybody else."

One word that Galloway continues to preach to his players, and it's evident based on Myers' interview that it's sticking with them, is "great."

The coach does not want his players to be satisfied with anything they do on the field that's short of greatness and they have taken it to heart. Galloway hopes that if he continues to drill that into their minds, they will push themselves and each other to improve each and every day, all the way through the final game of the season.

"That's the biggest thing that I'm preaching to them, that Coach Holgorsen's preaching to them, is that we're going to be only as good as the group," he says. "We want to have a great football team and that's just buying in, doing the things that we're preaching and making them learn and they should want to do the things that we're preaching to them. I'm looking to have a great group, not three or four good players."

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