Quick Hits: WVU Football Camp Day 1 - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Quick Hits: WVU Football Camp Day 1

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MORGANTOWN -

Football camp got underway for the West Virginia University football team Thursday evening on Mountaineer Field and we had our first glimpse at the players who will make up the 2013 roster when the season kicks off at the end of the month.

In the 30-minute window in which practice was open to the media, here are a few notes that stood out:

- Right off the bat, it was evident that this WVU football team is different than last year's for the simple fact that their helmets were brand new. The offense took the field wearing the matte blue helmets that were unveiled the day of the spring game back in April, while the defense sported the new matte gold helmets.

Both looked solid, though the golds definitely stood out as they were a major change from the past. I asked Brodrick Jenkins for his thoughts on the new look and the senior cornerback's response indicated that he preferred them with his blue jersey, saying that they "popped" more than the traditional blues. True enough.

At the front of each helmet is a clearing, glossy masking of some sort meant to protect the paint job during practice so that they will look cleaner on game days. From experience as a manager with the team, I can attest to the fact that at some point, all of the helmets get badly damaged from practices and games and the only way to fix it is to replace the helmet. This masking should prevent many of the major blemishes.

-        The injury report was minuscule for the Mountaineers, as it typically would be at the start of camp with a whole summer to heal. Only offensive lineman Adam Pankey and receiver Shelton Gibson dressed in the red jerseys indicating that they had been held out for injury.

Pankey suffered a torn ACL in the spring and is out until September or October and athletic trainer Tony Corley said he is progressing extremely well in his rehab. The extent of Gibson's injury is unknown as questions regarding health are directed to head coach Dana Holgorsen, who will not be available to the media until later this evening.

-        There are certainly plenty of position battles, but in the time that's available to the media, it is difficult to get a real gauge of where anyone stands. It's all individual work and stretching, so everyone gets the same number of reps, whether they are potential starters or players destined to ride the bench.

The quarterback battle brought a flock of reporters as soon as camp opened and all three candidates – Clint Trickett, Paul Millard and Ford Childress – threw with varying degrees of success in a net drill. Trickett is easily the slightest of the three, carrying a much smaller frame than his competitors at the position. None stood out in the drills on day one.

-        Not to read too much into it, but the order of running backs in the rotation shown in the video above was Dreamius Smith, Charles Sims, Dustin Garrison, Andrew Buie, Wendell Smallwood and Maurice Zereoue followed by the others in the group. Smith and Sims are easily the biggest of the bunch, with Sims towering over many of his fellow Mountaineers at the position.

-        At punt returner, there were a number of candidates working with wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway. Mario Alford, Vernon Davis, Ronald Carswell, Jordan Thompson and Jacky Marcellus each put a towel under both armpits, helping to keep their arms to their sides as they attempted to field the punts. All of the candidates did well in pulling in the ball and making quick initial moves up the field.

-        Speaking of Davis, he is now sporting the No. 81 jersey as Sims has taken over his old No. 3. Ivan McCartney, back with the team in 2013, has switched from his familiar No. 5 to the number his cousin, Chad Johnson, used to wear: 85. Alford now wears 5.

-        The punting duties were split between Nick O'Toole, Houston Syvertson and Michael Molinari, who also joined Josh Lambert on field goal kicks. Each of the punters has some solid connections and some that bordered on shanks, but overall, Syvertson (a freshman out of Shady Spring, W.Va.) seemed the most consistent on getting real distance out of his punts. 

Lambert was solid kicking field goals as he connected on each of his attempts at the beginning of practice. 

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