The West Virginia Mountaineers boasted a host of returning talent in 2016. A senior quarterback, junior receivers, a senior offensive line, senior defensive linemen. That amount of returning talent helped pave the way to the Mountaineers second 10-win season of the Dana Holgorsen era.
As often happens with teams that returned a host of talent, the 2017 Mountaineers are one of the teams in Power 5 conferences that do not return a lot of production. Losing Skyler Howard, Shelton Gibson, Daikeil Shorts, Tyler Orlosky, Adam Pankey, Noble Nwachukwu, Darrien Howard, and Rasul Douglas, among others, has Big 12 media writers predicting the team to finish middle of the pack in the conference.
2017 WVU Depth Chart
|Running Back||Justin Crawford||Senior|
|Tight End||Trevon Wesco||R-Junior|
|Wide Receiver (X)||David Sills||Junior|
|Wide Receive (Z)||Ka’Raun White||R-Senior|
|Inside Receiver (Y)||Gary Jennings||Junior|
|Left Tackle||Yodny Cajuste||R-Junior|
|Left Guard||Kyle Bosch||R-Senior|
|Right Guard||Grant Lingafelter||R-Senior|
|Right Tackle||Colton McKivitz||R-Sophomore|
|Defensive End||Adam Shuler||R-Sophomore|
|Nose Tackle||Xavier Pegues||R-Senior|
|Defensive End||Reese Donahue||Sophomore|
|SAM Linebacker||Xavier Preston||Senior|
|MIKE Linebacker||Al-Rasheed Benton||R-Senior|
|WILL Linebacker||David Long||R-Sophomore|
|Left Cornerback||Hakeem Bailey||R-Sophomore|
|Right Cornerback||Elijah Battle||Senior|
|SPUR Safety||Kyzir White||Senior|
|Free Safety||Dravon Askew-Henry||R-Junior|
|BANDIT Safety||Toyous Avery||R-Junior|
Looking at the current depth chart, there are familiar names, but names that haven’t seen a lot of playing time. Will Grier is a former Parade All-American but hasn’t thrown a football in a live game since October 10, 2015. The leading returning receiver had 48 catches for 583 yards. The starting defensive line is two sophomores and a senior, and 4 of 6 defensive backs weren’t starters in 2016, while Dravon Askew-Henry is returning from an ACL tear.