Chip Shots

The backfield

Its been hard during Dana Holgorsen’s reign as the head football coach at West Virginia University to get a handle on what is going on in practice. It’s been mentioned here dozen’s of times now that practices are closed to media except for a few designated times the media has access. Those are typically 30 minutes long when the players are stretching and doing drills. Fall camp at WVU is over and the Mountaineers are now in their regular season routine. Media has now had access to 90 minutes of practice thus far.

Yours truly has never been involved in the media that regularly attends practice. I’ve always monitored what news comes from other sources, digest it and put my spin on it. Used to be that information could be substantial. That’s no longer the case, but when something pops up from multiple sources these days it’s usually worth a look see.

One of the more interesting positions seems to be at running back. Kennedy McKoy entered the season as the number one back on the depth chart ahead of Martell Pettaway and Alec Sinkfield. McKoy has been the number two back behind Justin Crawford in his first two seasons and has been productive with 1,068 career yards on 198 carries.

Pettaway is also in his third season and was destined for a redshirt in 2016 until injuries forced the coaching staff to play him against Iowa State in the 11th game of 2016. Pettaway responded with 181 yards on 30 carries and folks were buying Pettaway’s stock. 2017 was a bust as Pettaway rebounded with just 149 yards on 43 carries. Both McKoy and Pettaway have been reported to have been impressive this fall.

I guess the most intriguing part is that two freshmen have entered the conversation. At various times redshirt freshman Alec Sinkfield has been referred to as the guy who may be the breakaway back on the team. Comparisons to Amos Zeroue and Noel Devine have been made, but by who is a question that means we should pump the brakes and see him play first. At 5-9, 185 Sinkfield figures to be a good change of pace option and a back perhaps better in space than WVU has had recently.

The fourth back in the room is true freshman Leddie Brown, one of the highest rated recruits in the most recent class. Brown, at 5-11, 211 is similar to Pettaway in stature. Brown wasn’t on the initial pre season depth chart, but Holgorsen said early on that Brown wouldn’t redshirt. The word  is Brown was given a lot of reps with the first team offense to allow coaches to do a full evaluation. Two anonymous quotes about Brown seen are, “He’s as good as advertised,” and “he just jumps off the tape. He’s a pretty good one.”