MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- What hasn't changed for Bradley Starks in a season where he's changed so many things about and around him is that West Virginia's play-making receiver is still being asked about his health.
Only now the questions aren't intended to discover when he'll be healthy, but to make sure he still is.
Instead of being asked what it's like to be held back by a shaky shoulder or a grumpy groin, he's invited to talk about being what he defined as "100 percent."
"It's fun," he said. "Injuries are part of football and you're going to have to go through some bumps and bruises, but obviously you'd rather be playing."
Starks was a sizeable void the first four games of the season and his only contributions in West Virginia's 3-1 start were two penalties.
He didn't record another statistic in victories against Coastal Carolina, Marshall and Maryland and the loss at LSU when the offense could have used something from someone that would have distinguished the Mountaineers from who they were that September night in Tiger Stadium.
WVU passed 29 times and completed 14 for 119 yards. None of the completions went more than 19 yards and the LSU secondary was able to stay with receivers and come under routes without fear of deep retribution.
A week later, Starks, who had injured his groin in camp and his shoulder against Marshall, finally felt good. He played great. Starks caught four passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns - including two that were longer than any previous pass play in the season.
It was as sudden and needed as it was unanticipated. In the first 25 games of his career, he caught three touchdowns.
Starks, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior from Unionville, Va., needed not just time to make the complete conversion from quarterback to receiver, but to also develop and sustain his physical well-being.
"Playing quarterback is almost a different kind of sport," he said. "It's definitely not as simple as everyone thinks. I can easily make the transition mentally. Physically, my body was not prepared for the kind of things you have to put in at wide receiver.
"The amount of running at wide receiver is just crazy. Coming from quarterback, having never played wide receiver before, your legs are not used to that ... not remotely used to that. Quarterback, maybe I sprinted sometimes, but it was more so about dropping straight back."
Starks has been sound of body and ability since after the LSU game and has 17 receptions for 261 yards and four touchdowns. Against Connecticut, he ran a reverse 53 yards for a touchdown on his only carry of the season when he zipped between a gantlet of defenders untouched and then pulled away from the pursuit.
As prophesized by his coaches during those "Wait until he's healthy" moments in the preseason, Starks is WVU's top threat entering Friday's noon game at Pitt (6-4, 4-1 Big East) at Heinz Field on ABC.
"A kid like that tends to get rewarded," said offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen, who as the team's quarterbacks coach could be coaching Starks if not for circumstances names Pat White and Jarrett Brown earlier in Smith's career. "I don't know why, but I know when you work, you ultimately get rewarded.
"I think that's just the way of the world and it shows in football, as well. Certainly that's happened with Bradley."