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West Virginia has accomplished a lot since the start of spring football practice. The Mountaineers got in 15 full practices to give the coaching staff plenty of opportunities to experiment and evaluate. Running back Leddie Brown got lots of work in the passing game while backup running backs Tony Mathis Jr. and A’Varius Sparrow performed well in the live scrimmage reps they received this spring.
For as much measurable progress that was put on display by the West Virginia offensive line last year, coaches and players acknowledge more improvements must be made over the spring and summer months for the Mountaineers to firmly entrench themselves as a team that regularly takes up residence in the top half of the Big 12.
West Virginia football coach Neal Brown has announced the Mountaineers’ spring football player awards, as selected with input from the coaching staff and players, for outstanding performances during the 2021 spring practices and workouts.
West Virginia football players Leddie Brown, Zach Frazier, Graeson Malashevich, Tony Mathis Jr., and Scottie Young were named the recipients of the 2021 Iron Mountaineer Award, presented to the most outstanding performers in WVU’s offseason strength and conditioning program.
West Virginia wide receiver Graeson Malashevich, a redshirt sophomore from Ceredo, West Virginia, is the winner of the 2021 Tommy Nickolich Memorial Award. The award is given annually to a walk-on team member who has distinguished himself through his attitude and work ethic.
Following the 2021 West Virginia football Gold-Blue spring game, here are some reactions to the performance by the Mountaineers, including the offensive line’s development and WVU’s quarterback situation.
Saturday’s Gold-Blue game featured normal scrimmage scenarios, as well as a variety of drills and events for the West Virginia football team.
West Virginia’s Derek Culver has reportedly signed with an agency. According to a tweet from Athletes Sports Management, Culver has signed with the New York-based agency. Culver posted on Instagram shortly after the announcement stating that he did not declare to leave WVU, leading to widespread confusion on the truth behind this situation. Both Culver and the agency seem adamant that they know what is truly going on, but their differing stories do not add up.
West Virginia Athletics
Junior Kendra Combs earned the West Virginia gymnastics team’s Linda Burdette-Good Award as the team’s Most Valuable Gymnast, as voted on by team members. Combs competed in all 12 meets this season as a two-event specialist on the uneven bars and floor exercise.
After a career outing in Friday night’s win at Kansas State, senior left-handed pitcher Jackson Wolf of the West Virginia baseball team has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week. Wolf struck out a career-high 10 batters in the Mountaineers’ 4-3 victory over the Wildcats.
The West Virginia baseball team fell victim to Kansas State, as the Wildcats took down the Mountaineers in the series finale, 9-4. WVU falls to 15-18 this season, with a 6-9 mark in the Big 12.
The West Virginia rowing team enjoyed a good showing at the George Mason Invitational on Saturday. WVU placed first in all three events.
Around the Big 12
For every football team in the Big 12 this year, there is a best-case version that sees the team meet or exceed expectations, and there is a significantly worse-case scenario where things do not play out as planned. So here is one factor for each Big 12 team that could make or break its season.
Alabama inside linebacker Ben Davis, one of the nation’s top recruits in the class of 2016, announced on Monday that he is transferring to Texas. Davis was ranked #1 at his position out of high school, but made just seven tackles while appearing in 24 games at Alabama.
Xavier Worthy, who had signed with Michigan in the 2021 class, announced on Saturday that he has committed to Texas after asking for a release. Worthy was ranked the #8 wide receiver in the 2021 ESPN 300.
Oklahoma State’s Christian Encarnacion-Strand was named the Big 12 Player of the Week, while K-State right-hander Connor McCullough was the Pitcher of the Week. TCU’s Phillip Sikes was named the Newcomer of the Week.
Around the NCAA
The North Carolina men’s basketball team has added Oklahoma transfer Brady Manek. The school announced Thursday that the graduate transfer is joining the Tar Heels after spending the past four seasons as a Sooners starter under now-retired coach Lon Kruger.
Siena transfer Jalen Pickett, a top-25 overall transfer and one of the best available point guards, committed to Penn State on Sunday. Pickett chose the Nittany Lions over Oregon State, although Michigan, Gonzaga, and Baylor were all involved late into his recruitment.
Seven women filed a federal class-action lawsuit against LSU and its leadership Monday, with the university’s former president and athletic director, as well as its athletic fundraising group, among those named as defendants.
Three weeks after the San Francisco 49ers’ bold trade up to the third pick in the 2021 NFL draft, coach Kyle Shanahan said the team was already comfortable enough to draft three of the top five quarterbacks, but the team could “get there” with the fourth or fifth pick.
Houston Rockets point guard John Wall will likely miss the remainder of the season with a right hamstring strain. Wall averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists while shooting 40.4% from the floor in 40 games this season.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Sean Culkin will be the first NFL player to convert all of his salary to Bitcoin.
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