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To Replace Josh Chandler, WVU Will Use True Freshman Jared Bartlett



Injuries to seniors Quondarius Qualls and Josh Chandler have left the West Virginia defense thin at linebacker.

Both players were injured during the team’s most recent game against Oklahoma on Oct. 19. Chandler is expected to miss one month while there was a possibility for Qualls to play in this Thursday’s game. Chandler was second in the team in tackles (49) from the mike linebacker spot and Qualls has two quarterback sacks from the bandit position.

WVU will use several different reserve linebackers to replace the pair, including true freshman Jared Bartlett, according to head coach Neal Brown.

“Jared Bartlett will play in this game,” Brown said Monday. “He will make the trip and this will be his first significant action. We have some flexibility there with Abbot, Campbell and Tonkery. They have the ability to kind of play either mike or bandit, and then Sandwisch. Sandwisch played some snaps against Oklahoma and he’ll be able to give us some in this game as well.”

Senior Shea Campbell has played in every game this season except the opener against James Madison and has totaled 19 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, junior Dylan Tonkery has recorded 22 tackles this season and Jake Abbot and Zach Sandwisch have have been used sparingly thus far.

Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said that he does not like having to shift players around due to injuries.

“Moving some guys around isn’t the best scenario but I think they’re getting better every day,” Koenning said. “You would like those guys to start getting reps way back whenever we started this deal, but it is what it is so we’re just trying to get better each day.”

Thursday will be the first time Bartlett sees the field this year as he has been redshirted. A three-star prospect out of Collins Hill High School in Georgia, Koenning said there are several things about the young linebacker that he likes.

“He’s got some twitch about him and we’ll see how things transpire,” Koenning said. “I think he’s got some things that we don’t have at linebacker. Some quickness, got some knack on pass rush, but he’s just like the rest of those guys who’ve got ‘Fr’ by their name. We’re going to see how he does whenever he get him into the game.”

As a senior, Bartlett recorded 78 tackles, 15 for a loss with five sacks.

Assuming the coaching staff still wants him to redshirt this season, Bartlett will be able to play in three more games after this week’s.

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