December 5, 2007

Walking the tightrope Pt. 2: Life as a redshirt Mountaineer

MORGANTOWN-So exuberant was young safety Eain Smith when he came to Mountaineers headquarters this August, that coaches had to literally slow him down.

West Virginia was experimenting at free safety, even though 2006 starter Quinton Andrews returned. Defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel and safeties coach Bruce Tall had begun toying with emphasizing the idea of two deep safeties (cover 2) in the West Virginia 3-3-5 defensive alignment.

Ultimately, Andrews was moved to a bandit position, a cover safety who could also drop back into 2-deep at times. Ryan Mundy, who joined true freshman Smith on the Mountaineer summer practice field for the first time, in time solidified himself at free safety. Back in August, Eric Wicks and Franchot Allen also were in play to "amoeba" between free and bandit.

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