West Virginia football: Shorts moving to outside receiver


The wide receiver position will be filled with uncertainty as the offseason continues for West Virginia. The Mountaineers will seek to replace Kevin White and Mario Alford, two major contributors to the offense last season.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen has asked junior receiver Daikiel Shorts to switch from inside receiver to outside. The Mountaineers are in need of outside bodies and Shorts has the experience at both inside and outside receiver. With his experience, Holgorsen is confident in his ability to switch and be productive.

“I’ve moved Daikiel Shorts out to wide out,” said Holgorsen. “We need to find a wide out. He’s going through some growing pains with that right now, but he’s an experienced reciever that has good size and good speed. He’s right now our top guy on the outside.”

Oct 4, 2014; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Daikiel Shorts (6) gestures on the field before playing the Kansas Jayhawks at Milan Puskar Stadium. West Virginia won 33-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In West Virginia’s most recent open spring practice Shorts was easily the best receiver on the field. One area he excelled in was the goal line in which he caught two fade routes from quarterback Skylar Howard.

He says he’s able to make plays because he’s listening to his coaches.

“Shoot. I hope to be his (Howard) favorite target, but I’ll just say that’s how the flow of the practice went today (Saturday),” Shorts said. “Just listening to coach (Lonny) Galloway and coach Holgorsen and doing what they coach. Just getting on the same page as Skylar, seeing what he wants.”

When Shorts first came to West Virginia he played outside receiver and wide receivers coach Lonny Galloway says it will just be a matter of getting reps on the outside since Shorts has been playing inside the past couple of seasons.

“When Daikel first got here he played outside, so it’s one of those things where he knows the offense, so Daikel’s going to play outside,” said Galloway. “As far as knowing what to do, he knows what to do.”

Shorts doesn’t mind the move as he says he’s a team player and wants to do anything he can to help. He says the hardest part will be the mental aspect — knowing routes, and going one-on-one with cornerbacks.

Both Holgorsen and Galloway agree that Shorts is one of, if not the top receiver as of right now.

“We have enough bodies at inside to be able to afford to move him outside,” said Holgorsen. “This is going to be awhile before we have established guys on the outside. We’re just adding him to the equation to see if that’s an answer and I think it will be.”

On the inside Holgorsen is looking for running back Wendell Smallwood to get a lot of reps and be productive, while Jordan Thompson will also be considered a top inside guy.

After a solid day on Saturday, Shorts’ stock is rising and he could be the answer West Virginia needs on the outside.