Spring football provides the last dose of Mountaineer football before the long off-season begins. Each spring players and story lines surface giving the fans hopes that those players and story lines will translate into success on the field in the fall. Below is a top ten list of players/coaches who have made an impression this spring. One thing is for sure there have been many spring football stars that have gone bust once the season starts. Here's to hoping that the players/coaches on this list continue their outstanding performances during the 2014 season. The list will be updated through each game week of the 2014 season.
1. Wendell Smallwood - Last year Smallwood reportedly attached himself to the hip of outgoing running back Charles Sims to learn as much as possible from the departing running back. That effort has paid off as according to coaches the sophomore back can play multiple positions and has been getting a lot of work in the slot. By all accounts the flashes we got to glimpse last year are occurring regularly. Smallwood had a decent Spring Game (10 carries 45 yards), but in all likelihood the coaches weren't showing all the ways they plan to use Smallwood.
2. Daryl Worley - WVU coaches have raved about the sophomore and their belief that he is one of the best in the country. Worley shut down the player ranked 3rd on this list in the Spring Game, and ESPN has mentioned Worley as a potential All Big 12 corner for 2014.
3. Mario Alford - Despite struggling against Worley, Alford appears poised to be WVU's biggest playmaker in the fall. Alford's game breaking abilities from the end of last year carried through the spring, and included a 99-yard return in the Spring Game.
4. Karl Joseph - Joseph just keeps doing what Joseph does. The upcoming Junior most recently put Dreamius Smith out of commission with a punishing blow that forced a fumble in the Charleston scrimmage. Thankfully Smith is ok. Joseph figures to play closer to the line this year so look for some more punishing blows from the heat seeker.
5. JaJuan Seider- Following the conclusion of the disappointing 2013 season Seider has managed to secure early commitments for 2015 from two of the nations best receivers in Jovon Durante and Khalil Lewis, and highly sought after safety Kendrell McFadden. All three of the above mentioned commits are from Seider's native Florida. Seider and WVU have beaten out the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Southern Cal for the services of Durante, Lewis and McFadden respectively.
6. Dustin Garrison - After two years of struggling with injuries Garrison has shown flashes of his old self. Let's hope he can return to the promising form he showed during his freshman year when he turned in one of the best rushing performances in WVU history.
7. The WVU secondary - The WVU defense has not been ranked in the top 100 NCAA defenses in the past two years, but appears to have made some progress this Spring with healthy bodies and a 3-3-5 redux. Will it pay dividends in the fall? Who knows, but it probably doesn't require that much of a leap in performance to crack the top 100.
8. K.J. Dillon - recovering from a serious health scare Dillon has rebounded to his old form and then some. The plans are for Dillon to line up as a hybrid safety/linebacker for the defense. Coach Holgorsen has said that "Dillon has been very disruptive on defense and more disciplined."
9. Logan Moore - The West Virginia native was previously largely an afterthought at the QB position, but by all accounts did enough to be in the mix with Skyler Howard and Paul Millard during the summer.
10. Houston Syverston - Another West Virginia native, the 6'2'' 220lb punter turned linebacker provided some fireworks in the spring game by lighting up Skylar Howard. Syverston looks to follow the tradition of other tough hard-nosed West Virginia natives making a name for themselves in Morgantown.