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50 Days Until Kickoff, Meet Your Mountaineers

Photo via WVU Athletics, CB Keith Washington returns an interception for a TD against Texas Tech

We are just 50 days away from GAMEDAY! As we all get excited to see the boys go out and play, we will be seeing a new-look Mountaineers this season.

There are some big shoes to fill as Will Grier, David Sills Jr., Gary Jennings, Yodny Cajuste, David Long, and Trevon Wesco are now in the NFL, as well as a few transfers out at multiple positions. But the 2019 Mountaineers feature some big names that you may know and some you haven’t yet. Below are a few names to keep an eye on.

 

Quarter Back: Austin Kendall (Transfer from Oklahoma)

Photo by: William Wotring/The Dominion Post and WV MetroNews

Replacing Will Grier will be tough but Austin Kendall is used to taking over for big name players.

Kendall sat behind Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray duing his three years at Oklahoma, so the fact that he didn’t get much playing time is understandable. He will have two years eligibility to play here at WVU and is the front-runner to be the starter for Week 1. Kendall brings a strong football IQ to the field and is plenty capable of being an on-the-field leader that this team can lean on. He did have a previous relationship with new head coach, Neal Brown. Brown, while an assistant at Kentucky, recruited Kendall out of high school in Charlotte, NC.

 

Wide Receiver: TJ Simmons

Photo by: Dale Sparks/WVU Athletics

According to the team’s social media, TJ Simmons to be the heart and sole of this team. His positive and hard-working attitude is the type of personality that coach Brown will depend on for leadership in the locker room and on the field. Simmons scored WVU’s first TD last year against Tennessee which showed his potential to be a big play threat at any given time. But with Sills, Jennings, and Wesco getting most of the attention, Simmons was good for a few catches a game for a first down here and there. Look for him to be a primary target that will get the offense going early and often.

 

Wide Receiver: Tevin Bush

Photo by: Kevin Kinder/BlueGoldNews.com

Tevin Bush, or as I like to call him “Tavon 2.0”. Yes, that is how much confidence I have in him. His speed gives him big play potential every time he touches the ball. Like Austin, Bush will get the ball in open areas for him to use his speed to beat defenders. Also look for him in the return game to put the Mountaineers in good field position often.

 

Defensive End/Line Backer: Darius and Dante Stills

Photo by: WVU Athletics

The sons of former Mountaineer, Gary Stills, are from right down the road in Fairmont and are ready to put their family name on a nation-wide map. The brothers saw decent playing time last year but I think will be a better fit this year in defense coordinator’s Vic Koenning’s scheme. The brothers have said they love being on the field together, and love motivating each other to play harder. Maybe they should place a friendly wager like “whoever has the most sacks at the end of the year gets the bigger plate at Thanksgiving dinner”.

 

Corner Back/Safety: Dreshun Miller (JUCO Transfer)

Photo by: WVU Athletics

Dreshun transferred to WVU from Eastern Arizona College where he ranked as the nation’s number 3 overall JUCO CB. He originally committed to LSU, but flipped to WVU in December and the staff should be very thankful that he did. He will bring leadership into a secondary that is faced every week in the Big 12 with incredible competition.

 

Corner Back: Keith Washington

Photo by: WVU Athletics

Keith Washington transferred from Michigan a few years ago and stepped up last year as the Mountaineers best corner. You may remember his big play when he returned an interception for a touchdown against Texas Tech which helped us seal the game and stop a Red Raider comeback. Washington, along with Miller, will help lead a few young guys and teach them how to play the right way and make smart plays.

 

Look out for these guys to make big plays in the Old Gold and Blue in 2019.

Please follow me on Twitter at @John_Pentol_ for the latest Mountaineer news.

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