Lambert also has what coaches refer to as a "tight body." He's strong, well built, thick, but also compact. DeForest worries that extra duty from kicking or, don't forget, tackling could tweak something.
The Mountaineers sunk a scholarship in junior college punter Nick O'Toole and he'll be WVU's starter. The gap between O'Toole and his backup, junior Michael Molinari, isn't too severe, but a risk is present.
DeForest doesn't worry about the right leg for Lambert and O'Toole. He worries about the left and the effect it can have on their mechanics.
"Kickoffs are the hardest thing to do on the body," he said. "They're harder on your plant foot and your plant leg. It's a 10-yard sprint and then you stick your left foot in the ground. There's jarring of the hip and the hamstring. It's hard and it adds up."
If DeForest had his way - and ultimately, he does - Molinari would handle kickoffs and hopefully not hurt the hands that DeForest believes make him one of the nation's best holders for field goals and extra points.
And if Molinari doesn't earn it, and if DeForest doesn't want to strain Lambert and O'Toole, DeForest will look to a newcomer, not freshman Houstin Syvertson. The punter from Shady Spring High School "can't do it" and is at least a year away, despite his powerful leg. DeForest is giving some thought to Michael Molina, a freshman kicker from Hurricane High who is 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds.
"As small as he is," DeForest said, "he has unbelievable leg speed."
What might ultimately distinguish DeForest's pick is not the strongest leg, but the best ability to execute the specific kicks DeForest orders. He's most likely to employ a variety of strategies to handle the other team as well as his literal shortcoming on kickoffs.
That could go a long way toward fixing a problem that has to be fixed. WVU's defense last season was as bad as you've heard it was, but it didn't get much help along the way. The average kickoff was caught just outside the 5 and returned to just shy of the 30. The 23.65 yards allowed per return ranked No. 99 nationally.
Now consider how productive WVU's offense was last season. The Mountaineers scored 69 touchdowns, kicked 11 field goals and kicked off 93 times, the 12th-highest total in the country. That's seven kickoffs per game. Factor in the 23 touchbacks, the two kickoffs out of bounds and the one onside kick and WVU surrendered 120.1 yards per game in kickoff returns.
That's a lot more than 0.
"I don't know what the answer is yet," DeForest said. "You have to work with the guys you have. We might not have a guy who can put it in the end zone, but we have guys who are good at other things we want to do."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.