BATTLING IT OUT


CAMPUS CONNECTION
By John Antonik for WVUsports.com
August 17, 2011 01:49 PM

Last year just about every position in West Virginia’s secondary was locked up at the beginning of fall training camp. You had Brandon Hogan and Keith Tandy at corners, with Robert Sands, Sidney Glover and Terence Garvin the guys at the three safety safety positions.

This year, you’ve got Tandy and Garvin back but after that, it’s anyone’s guess just who the other three starters will be?

Defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel said his staff is still trying to figure out who those three other guys are going to be, beginning with Hogan’s vacant spot at corner.

“Pat Miller has done some good things. He’s made a lot progress since the spring,” Casteel said Tuesday. “(Freshman) Avery Williams is a kid who has shown some flashes, he just hasn’t been consistent enough. Brodrick (Jenkins) is a guy who made a couple plays for us (Monday), but again, if you are going to do it you’ve got to do it every day.”

At free safety, Casteel said senior Eain Smith is leading a crowded field for the starting job.

“In the back end, Eain Smith was out all spring and it’s good to see him back there running around, but we’re still trying to get the rust off of him,” Casteel mentioned. “(JC transfer) Matt Moro and Travis Bell are playing behind (Smith). Really, I don’t know if anybody has stood out and said, ‘Hey, I’m taking that job.’

“Terence Garvin is a consistent guy and has done a good job (at spur safety).”

The bandit position has turned into a battle between a pair of Ohio natives, sophomore Darwin Cook from Cleveland and Steubenville true freshman Shaq Petteway, who has gotten the attention of the defensive coaches.

“Over at the bandit position there is Darwin Cook, and Shaq Petteway is getting a lot of looks – he’s a good football player,” said Casteel. “Again, he’s trying to play at this level and that’s a jump, but he’s got a chance. (True freshman) Nick Kwiatkoski made a play (Monday) during the scrimmage situation, so those kids are coming along.”

Still, Casteel is not ready to set in stone those other three starting spots.

Stay tuned.
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