Quick Hits: Sims, Smith Highlight WVU Scrimmage Action - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Quick Hits: Sims, Smith Highlight WVU Scrimmage Action

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MORGANTOWN -

Much of Thursday night's practice was spent with my camera focused in on cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell. The new position coach will be featured on a segment for the upcoming season of The Dana Holgorsen Show in which we put a microphone on him and hear exactly how he goes about his business on the field with the Mountaineers.

That said, there aren't as many observations from the 30 minutes open to the media as there may typically be, other than pointing out that Brodrick Jenkins has this high-pitched scream that he's unveiled in recent practices and Coach Mitchell told him point blank on Thursday that he sounded like a little girl. Here are the notes:

-       The Mountaineers ran four series in front of the media again on Thursday, with Clint Trickett taking the first and third series and Paul Millard and Ford Childress taking the second and fourth, respectively. Lined up in the backfield flanking Trickett with the first-team offense were running backs Charles Sims and Dreamius Smith, continuing to point to those two being the top feature backs to come out of camp.

The offensive line again looked stout against its competition, but there were very few plays that went for more than a few yards as the defense stopped the offense short of the end zone on every series.

-       The quarterback competition may soon have a winner. Without revealing any details of who currently holds the lead, Holgorsen said Thursday that he believes the time is quickly approaching when either Clint Trickett, Paul Millard or Ford Childress is named the team's starter, at least privately.

"I anticipate by the end of practice on Saturday being 100 percent sure of the direction we're going to go (at quarterback)," Holgorsen said in his press conference. That leaves just three more practices for one of the contenders to prove whatever his worth may be before the offense begins running with a single quarterback getting the vast majority of the snaps.

-       Who will that quarterback throw it to? The inside receivers are in question right now as Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson both expressed displeasure with those available for the job. Neither seems thrilled by the prospects, but Holgorsen is quick to point out that many of those vying for playing time haven't had much or any at this level. On Thursday, the staff moved freshman Daikiel Shorts to insider receiver in a search for answers, but perhaps the best player for the job already has a different position.

"Charles Sims could be our best inside receiver right now, pretty easily," Holgorsen said of the senior running back.

-       Speaking of Shorts, Holgorsen was asked if he and the staff have made an decisions of which true freshmen will play and which they plan to redshirt and though he initially said they hadn't, he then listed some that he expected would "definitely" play. Shorts was at the top of his list after the receiver took part in spring practice to gain experience in the offense, followed by running back Wendell Smallwood, cornerback Daryl Worley, safety Jeremy Tyler and linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton. Of course, more could be added to that list due to more solid play or any injuries that may befall the Mountaineers during the season.

-       Holgorsen wanted to take some time to brag on his specialists Thursday, talking up field goal kicker Josh Lambert, long snapper Jon DePalma and all of the punters pushing for the starting job, including Nick O'Toole, Michael Molinari and Houston Syvertson. Those guys have stood out, but Holgorsen still doesn't know which player will ultimately win the kickoff duties and it seems that it is a point of concern with game week quickly approaching. The head coach is also confident enough in the number of capable return men on the team that he believes the punt and kickoff return duties will belong to different players. 

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