Chuck McGill: Seider gets backfield ducks in a row at WVU
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- JaJuan Seider's Twitter timeline is mostly filled with info about West Virginia University football.
The exception: Duck Dynasty retweets.
"That's my show, man," said Seider, who is in his first season as WVU's running backs coach. "I love my man Uncle Si."
Coach Sei and Uncle Si. What a combo, right?
Both are salesmen, after all. Seider wants to lure Florida's top prep football talent to the hills of Morgantown. Uncle Si - whose real name is Silas Robertson - wants to help hunters lure waterfowl.
Seider is from Belle Glade, Fla., a town often referred to as "Muck City" because of the muck that is used to grow sugarcane in the area. Duck Dynasty, which coincidentally begins season 4 tonight, is based out of West Monroe, La.
"I can really relate to the show because we have the swamps and the rabbit chasing and the gators," Seider said. "It's a redneck show, but I like it because it always goes back to core values and family."
Seider, a Doc Holliday disciple who, like his mentor, is known for his recruiting acumen, was hired by WVU in March. The former Mountaineers quarterback coached running backs and was the recruiting coordinator for three seasons at Marshall after following Holliday there in 2009.
When third-year WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen announced Seider's return, he cited the assistant's recruiting ability and added that Seider's "background will be an asset to our program."
That is a nod to Seider's strong ties in South Florida, where Seider grew up, played collegiately after WVU (Florida A&M) and returned as a high school coach (Glades Central, Palm Beach Lakes and Lake Worth).
The Herd depth chart is dominated by Floridians - the current roster shows 34 Sunshine State natives - and the program signed 13 from the state in February.
WVU has 20 on its roster from Florida a season after record-setting quarterback Geno Smith and receiving target Stedman Bailey were taken in the NFL Draft.
The Mountaineers' 2013 recruiting class included student-athletes from 16 states, including three from Florida.
The 2014 class already has 13 non-binding verbal commitments, three of which are from Florida.
"We're going to make a better emphasis of it and having a guy here who can relate to them is going to help," Seider said. "We got a great tradition here with Florida guys.
"This was the Florida school up north starting with all the work Doc did under Don Nehlen and it continued on. Look at last year, two of the top three players (Smith and Bailey) were from Florida."
For now, though, Seider is focused on preparing his stable of backs for the 2013 season.
In addition to the team's leading returning rusher (Andrew Buie, 851 years last season), Seider inherited junior Dustin Garrison, junior college transfer Dreamius Smith and true freshman Wendell Smallwood. Then, over the summer, Houston star Charles Sims joined the program as a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility.
Sims gives WVU three backs with a 200-yard rushing game. Sims pulled off the feat twice: 210 yards vs. North Texas last season and 207 yards at Tulane in 2011.
Garrison had a 291-yard game against Bowling Green in 2011 and Buie had 207 yards at Texas last season.
Newcomers Smallwood and Smith were both three-star prospects. Seider has experience dealing with a backfield where touches can be hard to come by.
Even though Marshall had the nation's No. 1 passing offense last season, the Herd ranked fourth in Conference USA and No. 54 nationally in rushing behind a trio of freshmen backs. One of those rookies, Kevin Grooms, became the league's Freshman of the Year.
"Last year, going through that, was a great experience for me," said Seider, who has a similarly, envious issue at WVU this season. "I remember going into the West Virginia game thinking about how I was going to get all of those guys into the game."
All three of those Herd ball carriers, by the way, are Florida natives.
If Seider can help rebuild the South Florida pipeline to Morgantown, he can put a spin on his favorite television show with a new slogan:
Contact sports editor Chuck McGill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-7949. Follow him on Twitter @chuckmcgill.