MORGANTOWN - Neither Dante Campbell nor Jordan Thompson have played a snap of college football, but Campbell is still head and shoulders above Thompson at inside receiver for West Virginia.
It's not based on performance, however. Campbell, a redshirt freshman from Clermont, Fla., is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 215 pounds. Thompson, a true freshman from Houston, is 5-7 and 160 pounds.
To the eye, they're as similar as a toss sweep and a deep slant. To the Mountaineers, they play essentially the same position in the passing attack.
"We have different types of players, but we have ways to fill the same roles," said Thompson, who has impressed coaches and teammates since enrolling in January.
"The 6-4 guys usually go in and do the tough jobs like blocking.
"When we need a short gain, they're going to catch the ball and take the hit and fight for yards. Put me in, I'm one of those quick guys with explosive plays and screens and stuff like that. This offense is flexible for things like that."
Campbell is WVU's second-tallest receiver, under only freshman Will Johnson, a high school tight end who is 3 inches taller and more used to the ways of playing inside.
Still, Campbell's height figured to position him outside at the X or Z positions, and he began his WVU career last season learning the outside spots.
It didn't last, and instead of racing up the sideline and out-jumping defensive backs for deep passes from Geno Smith this season, he's now the backup at the Y position inside.
"To tell the truth, at first it didn't make sense to me," Campbell said. "Once I started playing it and got used to it, I saw what we're trying to do. I like the inside better than the outside really."
There are plenty of explanations, none greater than the kind of fun Campbell has at the Y. He's behind Tavon Austin, who, like Thompson, is a different player at 5-9 and 175 pounds. Austin is also a gifted escape artist and the coaches moved him to the Y so he could run the routes at that position.
Campbell has the same opportunities.
"The inside guys are usually the first read, so they get a lot of balls. I love that," Campbell said. "(The coaches) like me better there because it's easy for me to read the coverages and I wasn't too good getting off press coverage outside. Now I'm inside and they can't jam me up like they did before."
Thompson is behind senior J.D. Woods at the H position inside, but will play a lot. He spent the spring rehearsing the plays Austin mastered last season, from reverses and crossing routes to short routes and even the touch pass Austin tormented Clemson with in the Orange Bowl.