Connect with us


Asti: Top 3 Most Important Players for WVU Football in 2023



WVU Football QB Garrett Greene

There are just as many questions surrounding this WVU football team as any other team in the country. And as these questions are about to start getting answered and games are on the verge of getting underway, it’s time to look at some key players who will have to be at their best for the Mountaineers to have success in 2023.

It goes without saying that there are an abundance of players who fit this bill and West Virginia needs as many players to step top and reach their potential as possible, but these three rank as the most important.

Biggest Questions Looming Over WVU Football in 2023

Garrett Greene, QB

As is the case with most football teams at any level, WVU will go as far as its quarterback takes them. And no matter what Neal Brown says right now, that quarterback is Garrett Greene.

West Virginia fans have a true dual-threat again, but can he be good enough is now the question. Greene has the speed and ability to create big plays out of nothing, especially with his legs, but as the coaches have repeatedly said, he will need to make sure he doesn’t try to do too much too often. As much as some may love his “never say die” approach to each play, it can lead to costly mistakes and turnovers. He will also be forced to move the ball through the air at times too.

WVU OC Chad Scott Excited About Idea of Dual Threat QB Leading Mountaineers

If Greene can play smart enough, his dynamic athleticism could provide a big spark for the offense, much the same way it did when he took over the reigns towards the end of last season.

Aubrey Burks, Safety

In order for West Virginia to have a winning season, they will likely need to steal a couple games. That means the defense will need to force turnovers, something they didn’t do with enough consistency in 2022.

And if the West Virginia defense is going to force turnovers and maybe even sore off those turnovers, a guy like Aubrey Burks is undoubtedly going to have to be heavily involved in making it happen. Fortunately for the Mountaineers, that is a possibility based on Burks’ progression throughout the offseason.

Burks has become the leader of the secondary. He’s become the person younger players look to for guidance. He’s been labeled a ball hawk by his teammates. His coaches have been praising him and saying he can be as good as he wants to be, and it appears he has the desire to be very good.

Dontae Wright on Aubrey Burks: ‘He’s an Extension of the Coaching Staff’

There’s, of course, some luck that goes into creating turnovers. But WVU just has to get them to win. Burks’ aggressiveness and mindset to bring chaos to the field is exactly what could lead to turnovers and flip games.

Sean Martin, DL

Some could argue a list like this should have another offensive player, but the 2023 season will come down to the defense getting back to where it was prior to 2022. WVU also had tons of production on the ground in 2022 and that didn’t lead to winning as a team. More hinges on the defense.

The defense is what killed the Mountaineers early last season when the program endured its first 0-2 start since 1979. Say what you want about the offense through those two games, but enough points were on the board to win.

The WVU defense won’t be able to rely on a Stills eraser for the first time in the Neal Brown era and someone else will have to step up. Sean Martin is who the coaches are relying on to be that guy. By all accounts, he’s been the new leader for the defensive line, but West Virginia will need him healthy and being productive on the field even more than replacing Stills in the locker room.

Neal Brown Points to Sean Martin as Candidate to Fill Leadership Void for Defense

Martin played well when cast into a bigger role last season, but opposing teams will likely have a field day against West Virginia’s defensive line if its best and most experienced player isn’t at his best. It can’t be all on Martin on the line, but he has to set the tone.


Devin Carter actually playing like a wide receiver one. CJ Donaldson taking his game to another level. Kole Taylor adding that passing catching tight end dimension to the WVU offense. Beanie Bishop being an elite level corner.

These players and several others will be essential to Brown keeping his job through this season and the WVU football program getting back to its winning ways of the past. But with all of that said, the players noted above matter that much more.

Get WVSN in your mailbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe to WVSN and receive notifications of new posts by email.