WVU football: Kyeremeh will miss entire 2013 season
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The first bits of bad news trickled out of West Virginia football practice Thursday as tales of crisp workouts, inspiring effort and unprecedented depth were unseated by injury reports.
Sophomore cornerback Nana Kyeremeh, who played in all 13 games last season and made his greatest contributions on special teams, will miss the season with a shoulder injury. Coach Dana Holgorsen said Kyeremeh, from Worthington, Ohio, will undergo surgery soon.
Surgery had been an option before, but Kyeremeh was trying to put if off as long as he could.
"It was loose. He went through all of the spring with it loose. It was loose when he got here and he played last year," Holgorsen said. "He played through it in practice for two or three days, I don't know, but it popped out. We were anticipating surgery anyway and he has a redshirt year, so it's going to end up good for him. He'll get it fixed right now and be back in the spring."
* * *
HOLGORSEN SAID running back Dreamius Smith, who is in his first camp with the Mountaineers after transferring from Butler (Kan.) Community College, missed the past few days with a thigh bruise.
"He should be fine," Holgorsen said. "Obviously, he's day-to-day, but we thought Shawne Alston was day-to-day and he ended up missing about two months."
Alston had a similar sounding injury as a senior last season that kept him out of four games in the middle of the season, but Smith practiced without limitations Thursday.
* * *
SOPHOMORE RECEIVER Dante Campbell, who missed spring football after surgery to correct a shoulder problem, had the same shoulder pop out of the socket Wednesday, Holgorsen said. He wasn't sure if Campbell needed time or another operation to fix the latest problem.
"Other than that, we're healthy," Holgorsen said.
Holgorsen didn't mention sophomore Jordan Thompson, who later in the day was out of Thursday's practice with his left arm in a sling.
Thursday was WVU's third day in full pads and the first day with any tackling. Wednesday was the first day with two practices.
* * *
THE STRUCTURE of practices has finally started to advance the competition among quarterbacks Clint Trickett, Ford Childress and Paul Millard. Holgorsen said the Mountaineers were giving each quarterback 33 percent of the reps in offensive drills, but that the plan has changed. Holgorsen will pick two quarterbacks a day and let them split the snaps. The third will watch, but be a part of the pairing the following day.
"They'll all still get equal reps over the course of the final (eight) practices, but they're starting to get 50 percent of the reps now - and 50 percent of the 50 percent will be first-team and second-team reps," Holgorsen said. "But it will be 100 percent equal the next (eight) practices. Then we'll make a decision."
Holgorsen said he'd like to establish an order by the final camp practice Aug. 17, but that he's willing to wait. Whenever he makes a call, he's inclined not to share it with the public, though that might be pointless.
"I would be surprised if you don't know," Holgorsen said. "We try to get the guys to keep as much of what happens inside the building to the people who know, but with social media and emotions, who knows how that goes?"
Holgorsen said there is a possibility he could announce a starter far in advance of the first game.
"It depends on how clear-cut it is," he said. "If it's real close, we'll keep it as close to the vest as we possibly can. If it's clear-cut, we'll probably let everyone know."
* * *
THE MOUNTAINEERS have a few quirks in their schedule and things they haven't had to endure since 2005.
The Big 12 opener in the second week at Oklahoma is the earliest WVU has started conference play since beginning the 2005 season with a Big East win at Syracuse.
"You've got to play them sooner or later," Holgorsen said. "When you play them, I don't know if that matters. There are going to be some teams that are especially experienced teams - I don't know how you technically categorize experienced teams from inexperienced teams - but I guess the more experienced teams are going to be a little bit better early and the inexperienced teams, if they have the pieces in place, should gradually get better at the end of the year."
WVU also has its first open week after the sixth game, the longest wait for a break since the pause in 2005 came after the seventh game. That delay gives WVU an advantage at the back end of the schedule, where WVU finds an open week after the 11th and 12th games.
"I wish it was a little bit more evenly spread out, but there's nothing I can do about it," Holgorsen said. "One thing at the end of the year - and I've been vocal about this - is this is the first year we get that last week to recruit. Our last game is (Nov. 30). A bunch of other teams are playing Dec. 7. There are eight Big 12 teams playing on the 7th and two that are not playing. We're one of the two not playing on the 7th. We get an extra week of recruiting, which doesn't seem fair to me."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.