Big role awaits Smallwood

This sudden wave Wendell Smallwood has made as the second-best inside receiver and single-most intriguing offensive player in WVU’s spring football really isn’t new. You’ll remember last season that Smallwood’s star started to shine and it led me to ask if what I thought I saw was really happening: Were the Mountaineers grooming Smallwood to replace Charles Sims?

And way back in late November, the answer was an unequivocal “Duh.”

Very little has changed since then for the Mountaineers, who practice for the 11th time today and then again before the public at 1 p.m. Saturday at Laidley Field in Charleston. I said this is Smallwood’s spring, and I can’t believe that’s a very bold opinion.

But the “what” does not interest me. It rarely ever does as much as the “how” or “why” always seem to suffice. And for Smallwood, this is his spring because he made bold moves in the winter after a bobble in early December.

(Aside: Scoop & Score podcast is available now. Heavy on me, features Wu, lacks a guest.)

4 Responses to “Big role awaits Smallwood”

  1. Bobby Heenan says:

    I hope if he’s playing well in the slot this spring we just put him in the slot full time. No splitting time or reps at RB and slot. No motioning to the slot on some packages. Just full time slot. Lots of reps.

    I think it’s clear we’re weak in the slot, and I’ve lost faith in Thompson. Shorts is solid, but he’s not a game breaker.

    To me, slot is very much a feel position that requires lots of reps. There is plenty of instinct and “feel” needed to find open spaces between LBs and safeties, there’s an art to blocking from the slot for outside screens, and just ask Mario Alford how much more difficult it can be to catch that quick slant from the slot (when it’s coming faster at a shorter distance) as compared to outside.

    I think we have the RB depth to go ahead and move him to slot full time. That’s my stance on the issue for now. *pessimism mode on* – Get back to me after Dremius tries to bounce every run outside and Shell underperforms, but for now I say move Smallmood.

  2. JC says:

    Tavon did well in the split role towards the end of 2012. Not saying this kid is Tavon, but hey, if he’s a dynamic talent and can handle it, let’s see it.

  3. SheikYbuti says: