West Virginia Football: Thomas-Williams, a Player to Watch in Spring Game


One of the highlights during West Virginia’s signing day was the addition of 6-foot, 217 pound running back Donte Thomas-Williams.

Thomas-Williams was a highly touted prospect and was quite the catch for the Mountaineers to add him to the roster. Thomas-Williams had offers from schools such as reigning National Champions Ohio State, Florida State and and South Carolina, but evidently decided to take his talents to the Big 12 and wear the old gold and blue.

West Virginia’s annual gold and blue spring game is Saturday and Thomas-Williams will be a player to keep your eye on.

The West Virginia backfield has a lot of talent. Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood will most likely carry the load, but one shouldn’t count out Thomas-Williams as he could see a good bit of playing time this season.

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Thomas-Williams has had a solid spring thus far. He’s a powerful back that may give West Virginia a bulldozing, shot-yardage type of running back. He could be used at the goal line or to pick up a short first down.

It appears that Shell will be the primary back once again. He carried the ball for the majority of last season, but his backup is still up for debate — at least in my opinion.

No doubt Smallwood could handle this role, but head coach Dana Holgorsen has a lot of plans for Smallwood. He’s going to see an increased role as a receiving back. His extremely versatile and Holgorsen wants to use him to his full potential.

The Mountaineers have very little experience when it comes to the receiving corps. With the departure of Kevin White and Mario Alford, there is no clear cut standout. It will take players like Smallwood and fullback/tight end Cody Clay to step up and play outside of their normal element.

With Smallwood expected to take on a larger workload as a receiving back, Thomas-Williams may see significant time backing up Shell when it comes to running the rock.

Thomas-Williams also posses solid hands and while we could see him take on the power back role, he has great speed as well. He’s a well-rounded player and is certainly a boost to the offense.

Should the young running back continue to have a good spring and really show his stuff in Saturday’s spring game it wouldn’t be surprising to see him as a steady running back in Holgorsen’s offense.