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Mike O’Laughlin, Nicktroy Fortune Out Remainder of Season

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Redshirt junior tight end T.J. Banks is getting his time to shine. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of redshirt junior Mike O’Laughlin. Head coach Neal Brown announced Tuesday that both O’Laughlin, who had been injured all of preseason, and junior cornerback Nicktroy Fortune will be out for the remainder of the season with lower body injuries.

“Mike O’Laughlin is going to miss the remainder of the season,” Brown said. “He’s out with a lower body injury, and he won’t return. Nicktroy Fortune will miss the rest of the regular season as well, so just injury updates. Both of those are lower body injuries.

“I think T.J. sees an opportunity. His approach is much more mature than when he had to play early. Mike was out with the other injury.”

WVU offensive coordinator Gerad Parker is dealing with the loss of O’Laughlin in much the same way that he and the staff handled the tight end’s preseason gap.

“We hate it for him, because he made such strides in this offseason, and then going through the injury at the beginning of the year and playing so well against TCU, and the unfortunate injury here at the end,” Parker said. “Just hate it for him.”

Brown says that a combination of primarily redshirt junior Jackie Matthews and redshirt senior Scottie Young will fill in the cornerback gap that Fortune leaves.

“Really what we’ve done is that we’ve gone to a rotation where Scottie Young rotates in at SPEAR and back at both safety spots, and then Jackie rotates at SPEAR and the third corner,” Brown said. “Daryl [Porter Jr.] and Charles [Finley] started the season there. [Malachi] Ruffin is our fourth guy there, and what we’re trying to do is, with a fourth safety spot, is rotating those young guys on and off.”

These injuries come after a 38-31 win over No. 22 Iowa State, which provided Banks three receptions for 34 yards, but neither Fortune nor O’Laughlin played a single snap. There’s no word on what the specific injuries are, but both are season-ending.

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