Excitement is in the air as spring practice begins today in Morgantown. Fans will be watching eagerly to see how the 2020 squad will begin to take shape under second-year head coach Neal Brown. With spring comes an opportunity for players to make a name for themselves, and potentially earn playing time going into the regular season.
Here are the 5 players Mountaineer Nation should keep an eye on throughout spring:
- Winston Wright Jr., WR/KR: The now true sophomore put himself on the radar of Mountaineer fans after a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Waco, Texas last season. The Savannah, Georgia native possesses the elite speed to become one of the most dangerous receivers in the Big 12. His ability to change the momentum of games with his kick-return ability will be a key factor of success for the Mountaineers in 2020. Look for Wright to get plenty of looks this spring.
- VanDarius Cowan, LB: After his 2019 season was cut short by injuries, Cowan will look to rebound in 2020. The Alabama transfer was the subject of a plethora of hype from Mountaineer Nation. He has the skill set to be one of the most feared defenders in the Big 12, barring anymore health issues. Cowan was listed as limited by Neal Brown to begin the spring, but could be a factor later on. If he can return to the field before April 18th, it will be interesting to see what new elements he brings to Vic Koenning’s defense.
- Kolton McGhee, P: Punter is not typically a position that receives much attention, but after the stellar performance of Josh Growden in 2019, his successor has mountain-sized shoes to live up to. McGhee has a strong leg, averaging around 45 yards per punt each of his high school seasons. If the Altoona, Pennsylvania native can show the ability to flip the field, the Mountaineers could have yet another secret weapon on their hands.
- Alonzo Addae, CB: An area of concern for the Mountaineers in 2020 will be a lack of experience at cornerback. With the departures of Keith Washington and Josh Norwood, West Virginia will be looking to fill the hole in the defensive backfield quickly. Addae may not have FBS experience, but his FCS experience is nothing to overlook. His three seasons spent with New Hampshire will bring much needed maturity to the backend of the defense. Keep an eye on Addae throughout spring as he will attempt to step into a leadership role on defense.
- Matt Cavallaro, QB: While the storyline of the spring will be Kendall vs Doege, an intriguing newcomer may just catch the eye of Mountaineer fans. Matt Cavallaro comes from Lackawanna Junior College where he had a stellar season in 2019. In what feels very much like a “Skyler Howard” situation, Cavallaro may just be the surprise of the spring. It’s unlikely that he will push either Kendall or Doege for the starting role, but his skill set could catch the eye of the offensive coaches over the course of the next seven weeks.