MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- If you want to witness the evolution of West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen in 2013, you look, of course, at his offense.
You see more of the quarterback under center than before and more of the sets using three running backs. You see a coach juggling receivers, working three quarterbacks and letting the running game lead the Mountaineers to success.
And you haven't seen the best illustration of exactly what Holgorsen is doing this season.
That is both odd and understandable. It is odd because the personification of this philosophical shift, if only for this season, or this stage of this season, is hard to miss at 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds.
Yet it's understandable because he is, for now, the rather anonymous Russell Haughton-James.
He played but a few plays in a few games in 2012 -- "a sprinkling," as he put it -- and he only played four snaps Saturday against the Oklahoma. Where and how the sophomore offensive lineman from Plantation, Fla., was used speaks volumes, if even in a low volume, about these Mountaineers, He was a tight end, barely a week into his new position and his new No. 89 jersey with his new name across the back: H-James.
How very A-Rod, C-Webb, D-Wade and T-Mac of the equipment manager.
"I like it," H-James said. "It sounds cool."
Consider this trend from Holgorsen since arriving before the 2011 season. His first team had Tyler Urban as the only tight end body. Urban was an inside receiver and basically never played tight end.
Holgorsen recruited a tight end type in Will Johnson, who has since left the team, in the 2012 recruiting class, and the Mountaineers developed Cody Clay into an invaluable tight end, fullback and inside receiver hybrid last season.
This preseason, the same Holgorsen who has delivered fame and wealth to quarterbacks and receiver called Clay the team's best player.
Cabell Midland's Elijah Wellman was signed in the 2013 recruiting class, but the Mountaineers continued to look for bodies on their own roster. After Johnson left, Holgorsen brought Garrett Hope from linebacker to the position. He's played in both games. H-James was merely the next name to fill a role in Holgorsen's next revelation.
"We didn't want to run a two-tight end set without a third option," Holgorsen said, somewhat fascinatingly when you think about how far this has come. "We have Cody Clay, we have Garrett Hope. If something were to happen to one of those guys, what's your alternative?"
Stop. Holgorsen is, for real, talking about the necessity of a third-string tight end.