"These two guys will be give us some strength in the backfield. And as we saw last year, when we started camp with five guys and were down to two for the bowl game, there's wear and tear at that position. You need a lot of bodies."
WVU loaded up elsewhere on offense and signed four offensive linemen, which was the goal. Included is junior college transfer Mark Glowinski. The 6-5, 290-pound Glowinski started the last two years at Lackawanna College (Scranton, Pa.). Holgorsen said Golwinski will compete right away for the starting left tackle spot left open by Don Barclay's graduation.
The Mountaineers signed seven receivers, and four or five will play inside, including 6-1 Deontay McManus, from Baltimore's Dunbar High, where Tavon Austin went to school.
McManus is arguably the highest-rated recruit in the class and could play inside or outside, but will get a long look inside because of his skill and because of the team's need.
"We lost every inside receiver but Tavon, and he's probably going to get a little bit of attention this year," inside receivers coach Shannon Dawson said. "What we sold these kids was who ever gets to come in and play opposite of Tavon is probably going to catch a lot of balls."
That's a certainty with WVU's offense and what Holgorsen has proven through the years. There is less known about WVU's new defense.
DeForest is working with remaining safeties coach Steve Dunlap and whoever else on the staff can give DeForest the background on returning players.
He said he'll have to learn his personnel through winter conditioning and then spring practice before things can take form. Whether that form is a 3-4 or a 4-3 will vary because DeForest plans to be neither one or the other.
"Multiple," he said. "You won't be able to tell at times if we're 3-4 or 4-3. I will, we will, because the looks, a lot of times, will be exactly the same."
DeForest spent the previous 11 years as a defensive assistant at Oklahoma State and got to know the Big 12 Conference quite well. He said the defenses vary there, too, but the offenses are mostly the same.
With only a few exceptions, everyone runs a spread offense, which he said means the defense has to be able to disguise and adapt.
Situations may dictate using a 4-3 instead of a 3-4, and vice versa, but DeForest said there is no difference.
"There's none at all," he said. "It's a slight front look. It's still multiple, but 4-3 and 3-4 is based on the personnel you have on the field and what they can do.
"It gives you flexibility and gives you multiple looks. You better have more athletes on the field and you better have more speed to cover the offense we run here at West Virginia, because it's all over the Big 12."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.