MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Somewhere along the way, people seem to have forgotten something about Jewone Snow.
Not his name. Not the position he plays. Not that he's even on the team.
Oh, those clouds begin to form when a player's experience is as stormy as Snow's has been with West Virginia, considering the unfortunate injuries and the surgeries and the head coach who joked the player is "year-to-year" with whatever's ailing him this time.
Yet what is so often overlooked is that Snow can play football. Like, really play.
He is the son of former Michigan All-American Garland Rivers and football was in the family early enough to put the pigskin in his hands and a helmet on his head when he was 8 years old. Snow was twice a Division I all-state linebacker in Canton, Ohio, an impressive presence on an equally strong list of players like Texas' Jordan Hicks, Michigan's Jake Ryan and Ohio State's Zach Boren.
As a redshirt freshman in 2011, Snow played for the Mountaineers and started seven times. The talent has never been a question and Snow believes what so many others just seem hesitant to accept when it comes to Saturday's noon game at Kansas (Root Sports).
"After a snap or two," the 6-foot-2, 245-pound redshirt junior said, "I'll be fine."
Snow will start, or at least play a lot, as a middle linebacker for the Mountaineers after leading tackler Jared Barber was lost for the year to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in last week's loss to Texas. At the minimum, he'll be a part of a rotation with fifth-year senior Tyler Anderson.
He'll see his most extended playing time since the 2011 regular-season finale against USF, which was also the last time he started a game. That was also right about the time people started getting concerned about his shoulders, which led to a series of injuries that robbed him of a year of football. He can't help but take a moment now and think of where he might be.
"All the time," he said. "All the time."
Snow would miss the Orange Bowl after an MRI not long before the game showed labrum tears in his shoulders. He was hardly surprised. He remembers when he first hurt them.
"It was my freshman year," he said, "of high school."
Snow had always been told he had shoulder strains, but developed into tears. He had the operation to fix just the left with plans to fix the right later, labrums being the sort of things football player can only afford to fix one at a time. During preseason camp that summer, he was working out in the weight room - "it was a light weight, only like 215 pounds," Snow remembered - when more trouble came.