MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–West Virginia’s receiving corps is ultimately one of its strengths. The Mountaineers return three out of four weapons, which include David Sills, Gary Jennings and the speedy Marcus Simms.
Newcomer T.J. Simmons is expected to do big things.
Unlike last season the Mountaineers have more depth at the wide receiver position. Behind the four starters are receivers with potential to do big things.
And quarterback Will Grier has faith in this year’s backups.
“Last year I didn’t feel comfortable putting guys in the game,” WVU offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said. “I think that’s what ran us down at times. But now you got Dom Maiden, you got these tight ends that will get into the game, Tevin Bush, you got all these guys that are capable of coming in and stealing a play here and there. But more importantly Will is comfortable throwing to them, which makes me comfortable as a coach because he’s the one out there that ends up having to execute the plays.”
Maiden played in just five games last season and finished with just one catch. However, this season the 6-foot-5, 207-pound senior is more comfortable in the offense.
Prior to coming to WVU, Maiden played for Riverside City College, where he finished the 2016 season with 36 receptions for 480 yards and eight touchdowns.
Then the Mountaineers have the 5-foot-6 Bush, who saw most of his action last season at running back.
Former quarterback William Crest is also expected to be a target for Grier.
“He’ll be able to step in there and help us a lot,” wide receivers coach Tyron Carrier said. “This is his first camp in my room. In previous years, he was being moved around. Now he’s found a home and he’s improved so much. He’s earned it. He’s earned a backup role. He’s really strong. And he’s a great teammate.”
WVU has three dependable freshmen that could see action. Sam James, Randy Fields and Bryce Wheaton all shadowed the veteran receivers this summer and had impressive camps.
The Mountaineers plan on executing the use of their tight ends this season, which is another option for Grier to use.
With the first game on the horizon, Carrier is happy with development and depth of his wide outs.
“They’re an experienced bunch now,” he said. “It’s really just getting them into the game. There was a lot of energy coming through this place yesterday and it was an off day. These guys are really focused, and they’re ready to prove themselves. I’m happy with them.”
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS