MORGANTOWN - Charles Sims is a press release away from officially joining West Virginia University's football team and the natural and reasonable reaction to that news is the Mountaineers will run the ball more and better than people previously predicted.
On one level, it makes sense. WVU was already blessed with a junior college transfer who was explosive and punishing the last two seasons, plus the team's leading rushers from 2011 and 2012. Sims, a fifth-year senior transfer from the University of Houston who can play right away, is really good. Like, NFL good.
So, sure, more handoffs would seem to be in the offing.
I just beg to differ. Add a running back like Sims and you shore up the passing game. This has nothing to do with his talent as a receiver, meritorious as that may be. It has to do with an offense's identity and its needs.
WVU football Coach Dana Holgorsen has made comments or answered questions that would support the idea he's going to run the ball a lot in 2013. And at the end of spring football, that sounded about right. As near as onlookers could tell, the strength of the offense had been the running backs while the concerns rested with the pass-catch possibilities.
Since then, so many things have changed that you ought to at least alter your perception of the offense. Holgorsen brought a quarterback, Clint Trickett, in from Florida State to play as soon as he proves ready.
Receiver Ronald Carswell arrived from junior college and Jacky Marcellus and Shelton Gibson arrived from high school. Receiver Mario Alford is supposed to me the most college-ready of the group and he has not yet made his way here from junior college. Ivan McCartney returned from a self-ascribed sabbatical and he's actually the most veteran player at his position.
Don't think of those names as additions. Think of them as upgrades. They add depth in numbers, but also in talent and a few of them are going to take spots that belonged to someone else in that disconcerting spring. And don't think for a second the coaches weren't aware of that the whole time.