MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – With four wide receiver positions within the WVU offense, there are plenty of opportunities for reps among the WVU receivers.
Still, there aren’t always four wideouts on the field on every single play. With four-or-more starting-caliber pass catchers on the depth chart, there is a constant battle for one of the top two spots.
“Nothing is set in stone ever, and they need to keep that mindset every single day,” wide receivers coach Bilal Marshall said. “It’s a very fluid thing that we got going on. The guys that are hot [are] the guys [who] are going to play. I’ll never be in a point where I say, ‘Hey, these are the starters day-in and day-out. It’s going [to be] an open competition every week.”
In a typical season, Marshall would feel confident rotating six receivers in any given game. This year he feels that the number is closer to eight receivers that will “have vital roles in the room.”
The preseason depth chart lists 11 wide receivers at four different positions.
“Cortez [Braham] is playing at a really high level right now, as well as Devin [Carter],” Marshall said. “Even some of these young guys – Traylon [Ray] and Rodney [Gallagher] – are really starting to show up and make a lot of progress. Jarell Williams has been a pleasant surprise. It’ll be exciting to see what he continues to do. Hudson Clement as well. EJ Horton, who we just got here. All these guys are going to be exciting to see. I think we’re starting to build some depth in that room.”
He labeled Carter – the most experienced player of the bunch – and Braham – the most experienced returning WVU player of the bunch – as the most consistent receivers thus far in fall camp.
Still, the players who receive the bulk of targets at Penn State might not be the same player leading the receiving charts against BYU in November.
“Week 1, somebody can get really hot,” Marshall said. “And guess what? If he’s hot, and he’s doing everything right, he’s probably going to be the starter the next week.”
The lack of collective experience is a worry for Marshall, but he hopes that anxiety is quelled early in the season with plenty of young players receiving impact reps.
By season’s end, they’ll be experienced enough.
“We’ve got a whole heap of guys,” Marshall said. “I can’t really tell you who’s going to be in there to be honest. I told them this morning [that] the clock is ticking. If you want to make plays right now to set yourself firm in that position, now’s the time to do it.”