MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–West Virginia’s high power offense is best known for Will Grier and his talented group of wide receivers. However, the Mountaineers may have a secret weapon in their backfield.
Despite the loss of Justin Crawford, WVU’s running backs have the potential to be dangerous.
Both Kennedy McKoy and Martell Petteway have taken reps during the last two seasons.
And there is redshirt freshman Alec Sinkfield and newcomer Leddie Brown that are turning heads.
With the majority of the focus on the passing game, the Mountaineers’ run game has the potential to explode this upcoming season.
“We enjoy being the underdogs but we intend to be the strongest unit on the team,” McKoy said with a smile. “We got a lot of talent and I’m just really excited for us.”
With the nucleus being the receiving corps, it can help open holes up for the talented backs.
“It gets a lot of defenders to maybe take the first step back instead of forward and then that’s really good for our o-line,” McKoy said. “They can get off the ball and get tings pushing. Then we can just take the ball and get rolling.”
The gifted quartet poses a threat to opponents.
“I love where that group is at; they’re running the ball hard,” Grier said. “Yesterday was our first day in pads, and I was really pleased with their burst up the field – staying north and south. It’s a really good group; I like where they’re at. There’s a couple new guys; they’re all different. Leddie might be the biggest; he’s huge. By the time he develops in the weight room, he’s going to be really big. They all bring something different to the table. I really like where they’re at. As a group, they’ve worked well with each other. We’re going to be able to rotate those guys and do a good job.
As a sophomore, the versatile McKoy was the team’s second-leading rusher with 125 carries for 596 yards. Coming into this season, he has been named to Athlon Sport All-Big 12 Second Team.
During his sophomore season Petteway was WVU’s third-leading rusher with 43 carries for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
“Petteway, the power back. He’s going to run hard, run at you every single time,” McKoy said.
Sinkfield is known for his speed. While he has yet to hit the field at the collegiate level, the 5-foot-9, 187-pounder finished his high school career with 2,231 career rushing yards, averaging 8.6 yards per carry and 26 touchdowns.
Brown is the newest of the four and the 211-pound freshman is being praised for his size.
“And then Leddie (Brown), he’s actually pretty big,” McKoy said. “Leddie is actually big for a freshman so it was fun to see him in the pads yesterday.”
All four of them bring something different to the table and it could make for an explosive combination with the passing game.
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS