With all the preparations that are needed to WVU to get ready for Spring practices to start, coming up with a depth chart is not one of them.
“Competition at every spot this spring,” head coach Neal Brown said this week. “We don’t have a depth chart. At every spot, from the guys that made all-league to every spot, we’re going to compete. Everybody’s going to get reps.”
Brown said every player, at every position, is going to get reps this Spring and players are going to have to earn their time.
“They’re going to earn playing time,” Brown said. “It’s a long time before we line up and play down in the Mercedes-Benz Dome.”
The Mountaineers are returning five All-Big 12 players from a season ago; defensive linemen Darius (first-team) and Dante (second-team) Stills, linebacker Josh Chandler (honorable mention), wide receiver Sam James (honorable mention offensive freshman) and safety Tykee Smith (honorable mention defensive freshman).
Brown said, by the nature of Spring practices, a depth chart is not necessary.
“Everybody gets reps, it gets a little different when you get out of camp mode and fall, but at this point everybody gets reps,” Brown explained. “That’s why I don’t go into it with a depth chart.”
One of the most intriguing position battles in camp will be between quarterbacks Austin Kendall and Jarret Doege. Kendall was WVU’s starter to begin the season, starting the first nine games of the year. He passed for 1,989 yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Doege played in the final four games, preserving his redshirt, and passed for 818 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions.
In not naming a starter right away, Brown said he wants the pair to push each other more in 2020.
“I just thought they needed to challenge each other better and really push each other. That was a demand that I ask of both of them. You’ll get better in the process if you’re pushing the other guy. Just like the other spot we have, they’re in competition.”
Spring practices begin next week and new special team coordinator Jeff Koonz is as excited to get started as anyone.
“It’s going to be a fun Spring,” Koonz said. “Every rep is going to count and that’s how you create anything, it doesn’t matter what position.”