An already crowded West Virginia backfield became even more crowded earlier this summer when the Mountaineers added Houston transfer Charles Sims
to the fold. Junior college transfer Dreamius Smith
, one of four holdovers from last spring, says the more the merrier.
“Charles is a good player and a good person off the field; we hang out a lot, and he’s going to do nothing but help this team out this year and we’re looking forward to it,” Smith said.
Mountaineer fans are also looking forward to seeing what Smith can do on the field with the football in his hands. The Wichita, Kan., resident came to WVU last winter with impressive credentials as one of the top-rated junior college running backs in the country, gaining nearly 1,000 yards while scoring 17 touchdowns at JUCO power Butler Community College.
Smith had a host of schools after him before choosing WVU.
“It was a good conference and Butler is known for a winning tradition,” Smith said. “A lot of guys that I played against that didn’t make Division I because of grades or decided to go JUCO first to get them prepared for Division I schools … the guys I played against were actually about the same size as the guys I am playing against here. It was a good help for me to actually go there.”
Prior to Butler, Smith also spent a season at Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kan., after a standout prep career at Wichita Heights High where he ran for more than 3,000 career yards and was considered one of the top players in the state. Smith originally committed to Turner Gill and Kansas coming out of high school before opting to go the JUCO route to improve his stock, which ultimately led to his decision to come to Morgantown, W.Va.
“Out of high school you get caught up in, on my God, first offer; but I wanted to take my time in the next recruiting process,” Smith said. “I just wanted a new experience in life and I kind of wanted to get away from home for a little bit. Coming out here was the best thing that could have happened for me playing for a great coach - great players; great strength staff.”
Smith said he knew a lot about Holgorsen when the coach was still at Oklahoma State, and he was always interested in playing in Holgorsen’s up-tempo offense.
“Oh yeah, I knew him from Oklahoma State,” he said. “They offered me there when he was actually leaving and I liked that offense. I know it’s not just a passing offense. He gets you carries.
“I’ve always been a fan of the spread; pistol backfield,” he continued. “You get to see more on the field - look and see where everybody is at on the defense and whatever is going to happen in that offense is going to happen.”
Which is typically a lot. Smith saw what Holgorsen was able to do with a dynamic playmaker like Tavon Austin last season at WVU and he knows Holgorsen has a proven track record of getting his best players the football in space.
“If he sees it in you he’s going to get you the ball,” explained Smith. “If you can transition to receiver he’s going to put you at receiver or he’s going to put you at running back. I just know everybody is going to get a chance to play the position. We’re just focused on the position that we’re playing.”
In a running back room that now includes five quality players, Smith says each guy brings a little something different to the table. Dustin Garrison
and Andrew Buie
can slash and make people miss in the open field; Wendell Smallwood
and Sims are one-cut-and-go type runners while Smith says he has the size at 217 pounds to get those tough yards between the tackles.
“We’ve got Dustin Garrison
who can get around the edge real fast and he’s got his confidence back like he had his freshman year. Charles Sims
, when he gets the ball, he has a burst that really none of us have,” Smith explained. “He’s really a dynamic player, and, of course, Andrew Buie
can make any guy miss in the open field. And me, I can get those extra yards when we need them when it’s third and short and you need those couple of yards.”
Although Smith got plenty of work last spring, he admits he’s a different back now after six months in the program.
“I guess I read defenses a little better instead of just getting the ball and looking for somewhere to run,” he said. “I actually see where everybody is flowing instead of just looking for an open gap, hitting it and go.”
As for the impending battle for the top spot on the depth chart this fall, Smith said whatever comes of it will only make the team better.
“If one gets tired we have another guy who can come in and he can take over and make a big play,” he said. “We’ve got so many players on this offense that can make big plays.”