West Virginia’s 1,000-Yard Men
For the first time ever, the West Virginia offense is trying to finish the season with three receivers surprising the 1,000-yard mark.
Currently, Gary Jennings leads the Mountaineers with 94 catches, 1,030 yards and a single touchdown in the opening game of the season. David Sills – the Biletnikoff finalist and winner of multiple All-American selections – comes in with 60 catches and 980 yards. 18 of Sills catches have been for touchdowns. The only senior and veteran, Ka’Raun White, currently sits at 58 catches and 978 yards. White has found the end zone 11 times on the season.
From the outside looking in, both Sills and White should easily surpass the totals (20 and 22, respectively) needed to join the 1,000-yard club. White has had one game under 22 yards receiving all season, occurring against Oklahoma in which he finished the day with 1 catch for 8 yards. Sills has had 2 games with under 20 yards receiving this year: 19 yards against Delaware State and 12 yards against Iowa State. Jennings also had his season low in both catches and yards (2 catches for 14 yards) against Oklahoma.
And even though West Virginia will be without Will Grier for its bowl game, the Mountaineers receiving corps should be able to boast three 1,000-yard pass-catchers.
Chris Chugunov has had extended time to work with the trio during bowl prep. Barring any injury, I expect both White and Sills to break 1,000 yards by halftime of the Heart of Dallas Bowl. I also expect Jennings to join the 100 catch club as well. Only three previous receivers (Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Kevin White) have amassed 100 catches in a single season as Mountaineers.
Others may have tried to stake a claim to such a coveted title, but it’s becoming ever more obvious that West Virginia has become Wide Receiver U.