Morgantown, West Virginia – There haven’t been man bright spots for the West Virginia Mountaineers in their first five games this season after starting 2-3 and 0-2 in the Big 12 Conference. However, there have been a few individual performances this season that deserve acknowledgement.
The following are our top five players of the year for the Mountaineers through five games.
5. Casey Legg – Legg, a senior from Charleston, West Virginia, has been perfect this season as the Mountaineers’ kicker. He is 8/8 on field goals and 19/19 on extra point attempts for a total of 43 points, and he might be the top kicker in the entire Big 12 right now.
4. Dante Stills – Stills, a senior from Fairmont, West Virginia, has faced double and even triple teams at various times this season, but he has put tremendous pressure on the quarterback multiple times and wreaked havoc on opposing offenses. Stills has 11 total tackles, 3 solo tackles, 8 assists, 2.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble. These are underwhelming statistics for sure, but stats don’t tell the whole story here.
3. Bryce Ford-Wheaton – Although Ford-Wheaton has been wildly-inconsistent, he is among the nation’s leading wide receivers with 35 receptions, 412 yards and 4 touchdowns. However, his mistakes – most notably his memorable drop in the Backyard Brawl late in the 4th quarter that led to a Pitt pick six touchdown – have been costly.
2. CJ Donaldson – In his first five games as a running back for the Mountaineers, true freshman CJ Donaldson has been spectacular. Donaldson doesn’t have as many carries as other leading rushers in the Big 12, but he is currently 6th in the conference in rushing yards, rushing 56 times for 389 yards (6.9 yards per carry) and 6 touchdowns. This is a very impressive freshman season, especially since he wasn’t even recruited as a running back.
1. JT Daniels – It’s hard to imagine where the Mountaineers would be without JT Daniels. Daniels’ experience and leadership has made West Virginia’s offense effective. While Daniels hasn’t had eye-popping statistics (116-182 for 1,209 yards, 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions), it’s impossible to not credit him as the team’s most valuable, best player through the first five games of the season.
— The Voice of Morgantown (@voicemorgantown) October 8, 2022