MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–West Virginia’s offense is expected to be explosive this season but much of the hype surrounds Will Grier, David Sills and Gary Jennings. However, don’t forget another wide receiver that not many are talking about this camp, Marcus Simms.
Simms has kind of flown under the radar but his fellow Mountaineers think he is poised for a stellar season.
As a sophomore, Simms was WVU’s fourth-leading receiver for WVU with 35 catches for 663 yards, five touchdowns and a long of 68 yards. He finished ranked second in the Big 12 in kickoff returns (26.3) and fourth in punt returns.
“I think Marcus Simms is going to have a big year,” cornerback Hakeem Bailey said.
Bailey has been seeing a lot of junior wide out throughout camp.
“They’ve been going back and forth at it in practice, competing with each other,” Sills said. “I definitely think Marcus is going to have a big year this year. He obviously got some speed that’s pretty unteachable. You either have it or you don’t. He’s got that speed. He gives us another dimension to our offense. He cuts and can stretch the field real well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a really big year this year.”
The 6-foot, 194-pound junior is undoubtedly the Mountaineers’ fastest receiver but this year he’s more determined than ever on the field.
“He’s a focused kid right now also,” wide receivers coach Tyron Carrier said. “I think that whole room is on another level right now. They really have something to prove as far as being one of the best groups in the nation. I challenge them, especially Marcus. I challenge him every day. I challenge all the guys every day. I give them different things that they need to improve on. Each and every one of them, they really take it to heart and put it into work.”
The Bowie, Maryland native isn’t just a one-dimensional athlete but he excels at other aspects of the game besides his speed.
“He gets in and out of his breaks really well,” Sills said. “He runs really good routes. Usually guys that have really good speed are not quick twitch. It sometimes takes them longer to get to their top speed but he gets to his top speed very fast in and out of breaks. He has really good hands as well. I can definitely see him making a lot of plays for us this year.”
With Ka’Raun White gone and a lot of focus on Sills and Jennings, Simms should have an increased offensive role.
One thing that impresses Carrier is his ability to run routes.
“He’s a great route runner,” he said. “He’s really good at setting routes. Three routes look like the same one until he makes his break.”
With four exceptional receivers for Grier to go to, WVU could have one of the best offenses in the nation.
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS