MORGANTOWN. W.VA (WDTV) - (Includes comments from Tony Gibson & Bruce Tall)
Spring football practice gives college coaches an ideal window to move players around and experiment with different lineups and schemes. After all, West Virginia's next game isn't for another six months. On the defensive side of the ball, coordinator Tony Gibson and his staff have shuffled some players around, particularly some local products and state natives.
At a time where fundamentals can be taught, practiced, then taught and practiced some more, a key element of WVU spring football practice on the defensive side of the ball is to clean up tackling issues that hampered the Mountaineers last fall.
With players that have graduated of transferred, the WVU defensive line is in need of some depth. Fairmont Senior grad Darius Stills played in nine games last year, maturing ahead of schedule. Now, he could be in line to start due to his ability to play different spots up front.
In the linebacking core, Bridgeport alum Dylan Tonkery will move to the middle linebacker spot opened up by the graduation of Al-Rasheed Benton. Tonkery played in 13 games as a redshirt freshman, making 43 tackles.
And in the secondary, South Charleston grad Derrek Pitts is on the move. He played in ten games at safety last fall as a true freshman. Now, he is being shifted to cornerback.