McKoy Steps Up for WVU in Passing Game - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

McKoy Steps Up for WVU in Passing Game

Posted:
Kennedy McKoy rushes for a touchdown against Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl. (PHOTO: Emily Coyle) Kennedy McKoy rushes for a touchdown against Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl. (PHOTO: Emily Coyle)
MORGANTOWN -

A year ago, No. 4 jogged through practices and received a bunch of second glances.

Is that Wendell Smallwood? We thought he was off to the National Football League.

As it turned out, No. 4 was freshman Kennedy McKoy, and everyone from the reporters at practice to the coaches and teammates by his side believed he was a spitting image of the former Big 12 rushing champion.

“As soon as I stepped on campus, [former WVU running backs] Coach [JaJuan] Seider told me to get in touch with Wendell and talked to him because he told me I looked just like him and I played just like him,” McKoy said with a smile. “I got in touch with him, he gave me a few pointers, some tips on how to run certain routes and certain things at running back, too.”

Smallwood isn’t a bad player for McKoy to model himself after. In his senior season, after playing back-up to Charles Sims and Rushel Shell, he emerged to lead not only West Virginia in rushing, but the entire conference. His 1,519 yards were the most a WVU back had put up on the ground since Steve Slaton back in 2006.

But Smallwood didn’t begin his career as a starter. Instead, he worked his way onto the field by splitting out as a receiver or catching balls out of the backfield. His versatility, and a crowded running back room, made him an attractive option in the passing game.

Now, McKoy’s skillset is setting him up for a similar role.

“Right now, Kennedy is capable of being the main guy, but [senior running back Justin] Crawford is pretty good,” Dana Holgorsen said this week. “We’ll use McKoy in a lot of different ways, which he did in the spring. In my opinion, he’s one of our top four guys right now.”

Holgorsen is referring to his top four receivers in that comment. At this point, less than two weeks from the season opener, he has McKoy as his best “H” receiver, one of the two slot positions in Will Grier’s arsenal.

“It’s a little more open space out there,” McKoy said of working in the slot. “You get to work, try not to let the defender get his hands on you. More free.”

McKoy ran for 472 yards and four touchdowns last season as a freshman. Still, he recognizes that he is sharing reps at running back with the league’s top returning rusher after Crawford put up more than 1,100 yards last season and that the receiver group has taken a hit with suspensions and transfers in recent weeks. If his best way to help the team is at a position other than the one he was recruited to play, he isn’t opposed to making the move.

“I’m all for the team,” McKoy said. “I just take advantage of all the opportunities that I get. As soon as I step on the field, I’m giving 100 percent effort and I’m trying to go score every play.”

  • More SportsMore>>

  • Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Monday, September 18 2017 1:34 PM EDT2017-09-18 17:34:43 GMT
    WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

  • Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Sunday, September 17 2017 10:32 AM EDT2017-09-17 14:32:13 GMT
    The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

  • No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    Sunday, September 10 2017 5:18 PM EDT2017-09-10 21:18:38 GMT
    Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.

  • FootballFootballMore>>

  • An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

  • Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
  • WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
  • Woman's Body Found in Kanawha River Idenitified

    Woman's Body Found in Kanawha River Idenitified

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:33 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:33:57 GMT
    Photojournalist Randy McKinneyPhotojournalist Randy McKinney

    KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - A body has been found in the Kanawha River. The body was discovered around 11:10 a.m. near Dow Chemical on Blaine Island near South Charleston according to dispatchers. South Charleston Police are currently investigating the incident. No other details are available at this time. We will provide more information on this story as soon as we receive it.

    KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - A body has been found in the Kanawha River. The body was discovered around 11:10 a.m. near Dow Chemical on Blaine Island near South Charleston according to dispatchers. South Charleston Police are currently investigating the incident. No other details are available at this time. We will provide more information on this story as soon as we receive it.

  • WVU Receivers Competitive on Field, in Room

    WVU Receivers Competitive on Field, in Room

    Gary Jennings (12), Marcus Simms (8) and Justin Crawford celebrate a WVU touchdown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Gary Jennings (12), Marcus Simms (8) and Justin Crawford celebrate a WVU touchdown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Mountaineers push each other while positioning themselves to come away as Will Grier's favorite target on game day. 

    Mountaineers push each other while positioning themselves to come away as Will Grier's favorite target on game day. 

  • WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

  • An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

  • Quotes from Coach: Crawford's Consistency, Big 12 Familiarity, Injury Update

    Quotes from Coach: Crawford's Consistency, Big 12 Familiarity, Injury Update

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 12:40 PM EDT2017-09-20 16:40:58 GMT

    In the latest Quotes from Coach, Holgorsen discusses Kansas challenges, Crawford's consistency and gives an injury update.

    In the latest Quotes from Coach, Holgorsen discusses Kansas challenges, Crawford's consistency and gives an injury update.

  • 2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

  • WVi Has Moved!

    WVi Has Moved!

    Friday, September 2 2011 1:45 PM EDT2011-09-02 17:45:05 GMT
    Don't worry, wvillustrated.com is still alive and well. WVi has upgraded to a brand new and improved website. Please check out http://www.wvillustrated.com/ We hope you enjoy the new WVi experience.