BALTIMORE -- Here's what we know through three uneven games of Daikiel Shorts' career. He's physical for a freshman and for a first-year receiver. He understands defenses and uses what he knows to run good routes and find open space. He likes contact.
Put it all together and you get the sense that the 6-foot, 200-pound Shorts would have made a pretty good safety.
"I think so, if I would have worked at it," he said. "I pursued working as more as a receiver in high school and stopped focusing on defense, but I think I could have been a good one."
That makes Saturday's game against Maryland at M&T Bank Stadium a little more interesting than it already is. WVU has won seven in a row in the series. Maryland is 3-0 for the first time in 12 years.
The Terrapins recruited Shorts, first at Delaware's Red Lion Christian Academy before he played his senior season at Eastern Christian Academy, in Elkton, Md. The Terrapins offered Shorts a scholarship, too.
"They wanted me at safety," he said.
This isn't anywhere near as egregious as former Terrapins Coach Ralph Friedgen offering and then rescinding a scholarship promised to Steve Slaton.
It's not as peculiar as the same coach and the same school watching Owen Schmitt's highlight tape from his one season at a small school in Wisconsin and telling him to go on and become a three-time Division III all-American.
Whether Shorts torments the Terrapins the same as the other two remains to be seen, but the Mountaineers are nevertheless happy he is on their side for the 3:30 p.m. that's televised by ESPNU.
"He's just got a knack for finding open space," redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress said. "He's a real physical receiver, too. He's not afraid to get hit. He's a good target."
This is not a secret at WVU. Not inside the locker room. Not among the quarterbacks. When it was Paul Millard starting and finishing the seasonopener against William & Mary, Millard completed seven passes for 63 yards to Shorts.
When Childress got the call to start in last week's victory against Georgia State, he connected with Shorts five times for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
Those touchdown catches deserve an explanation. The first was in the first quarter in a soft spot in the secondary, the sort of place Shorts longs for. Childress arched the ball over one defender and shy of another and Shorts grabbed the ball before taking a hit and tumbling to the turf. In the fourth quarter, Childress sold a playaction fake and spied Ronald Carswell along the left sideline. The Georgia State safety saw it, too, and stayed with WVU's big-play receiver, but left room for Shorts to angle from the left side of the field to the right sideline.