Quick Hits: WVU Opens Spring Football in Snow - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Quick Hits: WVU Opens Spring Football in Snow

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MORGANTOWN -

Nothing about the quick accumulation of snow suggested that spring was in Morgantown, but that won't change the fact that spring football practice has begun for West Virginia University.

Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers stepped onto the field at the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility Sunday for the first of 15 practices in preparation of the 2014 football season.

WVU will open three practices to the public at the end of March and the beginning of April, but Sunday's was only available to the media for 30 minutes. Here are a few notes from the day:

-       Dana Holgorsen spoke with reporters for the first time about new assistant coach Tom Bradley. When the university sent out a release about Bradley's hiring, his title was listed as Senior Associate Head Football Coach. On Sunday, Holgorsen officially designated Bradley's coaching position as that of defensive line.

"He brings a lot to the table," said Holgorsen. "I think Tom has coached everything and the d-line is obviously a pretty important place … He's going to help me a lot. He's been in this profession for 35 years and has seen it all. He'll be able to help [WVU defensive coordinator Tony] Gibson when it comes to game planning, when it comes to a soundboard on how to do things properly."

-       With Bradley coaching defensive line, Damon Cogdell now takes over coaching the linebackers. A former WVU linebacker himself, Cogdell is coaching college football for the first time after a very successful stint as head coach at Miramar High School.

-       Travis Bell is suspended from the WVU football team. The 2013 starting cornerback was arrested for DUI and driving with a suspended or revoked license after failing field sobriety tests in a December incident just after the season ended. It was Bell's second arrest in less than 10 months.

"I wanted to keep him on scholarship and keep him in school, get him to work toward his degree," said the head coach. "He needs to get his degree."

-       Rushel Shell has gotten plenty of attention since transferring to WVU from Pittsburgh, and on Sunday, the 6-foot, 218-pound running back was just part of a very deep, experienced group working under Ja-Juan Seider.

Shell joins returning backs like Dreamius Smith, Wendell Smallwood, Dustin Garrison and Andrew Buie in a crowded backfield that Holgorsen is anxious to see in action.

"Pretty deep. Got a lot of guys with a lot of experience. Five guys with a lot of college experience," said Holgorsen.

-       Former WVU linebacker Anthony Leonard is back at his alma mater as a defensive graduate assistant. Leonard began his coaching career as West Virginia Wesleyan's defensive line coach last season under former Mountaineer holder George Shehl.

"I am honored to have had the opportunity to work and grow with the Bobcat family this past year," Leonard wrote on his Facebook profile this week. "The coaching skills and professionalism I have developed here, I will use for the rest of my career. Now it is time for me to continue forward on my career path."

Leonard was working very closely with the linebackers alongside Cogdell throughout Sunday's drills. He and former WVU tight end Tyler Urban, working with the tight ends and fullbacks, appear to be very hands on as graduate assistants.

-       Shaq Petteway was not practicing Sunday as he wore a red injury shirt. The redshirt junior linebacker missed all of the 2013 season and is expected to return to a group that does not lack depth heading into 2014.

-       Junior college transfer quarterback Skyler Howard had plenty of eyes on him as he took part in individual drills under offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson's watchful eye. Howard joined Paul Millard, Logan Moore and Gregory McPherson as the quarterbacks in drills Sunday with Clint Trickett set to miss the entirety of spring as he heals in preparation for the summer.

-       West Virginia football players have a new wristband this spring. Many of the Mountaineers were wearing red bands with three simple letters written in white: "WTF." Evidently, the three letters stand for "Win, Trust, Finish." A year ago, the acronym found all over the facilities was T.E.A.M., short for Toughness, Effort, All-in, Mountaineer Mentality. 

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