The WVU football team has brought in a quality coach to head up the running backs. Marquel Blackwell will be joining the Mountaineers.
WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen has brought on Blackwell to replace Tony Dews, who left the Mountaineers for a spot on Mike Vrabel’s staff at the Tennessee Titans.
The Mountaineers’ newest coach has been around the game most of his life. He has some impressive stints at Division I colleges and he appears to be a nice addition for the WVU football team.
Blackwell comes to the WVU football team after coaching at Toledo for two seasons. Blackwell has also been with South Florida, his alma mater, Western Kentucky and Florida. He was born and raised in Saint Petersburg.
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Blackwell’s connections to Florida should bode well for the WVU football team’s recruiting effort in the Sunshine State. The Mountaineers’ recruiting presence seems to be shifting under Holgorsen. When he first arrived, the new head coach targeted where he was used to recruiting with Texas being the hotbed. Since then, Holgorsen has shifted that mentality to go after tri-star area players with Pennsylvania, Ohio and even West Virginia becoming top areas to bring in new Mountaineers.
When Ja’Juan Seider was on staff with the WVU football team, there always seemed to be interest with Florida players. West Virginia has been able to tab some successful, speedy wide receivers and defensive backs out of Florida. It appears Holgorsen still wants to keep Florida as a go-to recruiting site and Blackwell will likely head up that effort. Seider, who left the WVU football team for the Florida Gators, is now with Penn State.
Blackwell should be with the Mountaineers for at least three seasons. Staff stability is important, but also rare in college football. By staying that long, he has a better chance of developing trust with current and future players. Blackwell is still new to WVU, like Holgorsen was when he was brought on board, and it takes time to truly develop a Mountaineer mentality.
The running game may not seem like it under an air-raid offense, but it is important for an offensive program to establishing out of the gate. Blackwell will immediately have some talent to work with as Kennedy McKoy, Tevin Bush, Alex Sinkfield and Martell Pettaway are returning and fighting for a chance to be the starter.