By Cam Huffman
West Virgina learned the hard way this football season that putting too many freshman in the mix — no matter the talent level — is a dangerous proposition, especially in the talent-rich Big 12.
So with holes to fill for 2013, Dana Holgorsen and his staff went about finding some more experienced athletes ready to step in right away.
On Thursday, WVU announced the signing of four junior college athletes that it hopes can make an immediate impact.
Wide receiver Ronald Carswell and safety Terrell Pinson will join the Mountaineer program out of Itawamba Community College in Tupelo, Miss., while running back Dreamius Smith will come from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., and wide receiver Kevin White from Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa.
Carswell, a 6-foot, 180-pounder who originally played at Alabama, finished the 2012 season with 44 catches for 429 yards and a touchdown. As a high school star in Georgia, he was a 2009 AAAA All-State selection out of Westside High School by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He caught 41 balls for 715 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. Ranked the No. 25 junior college wide receiver, he was also offered a scholarship from Kentucky.
Pinson, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder, played two seasons at Itawamba, recording 36 tackles, four interceeptions and five pass breakups in 2012. As a senior at Tupelo (Miss.) High School in 2010, he caught 29 passes for 747 yars and eight touchdowns. The ESPN.com three-star prospect was also offered by Mississippi State.
Smith (5-10, 215 pounds) played two seasons at Butler, where the team posted a 22-2 record and won the 2011 NJCAA National Championship. He rushed for 984 yards and 17 touchdowns on 120 carries. He also caught 16 passes for 179 yards and two more scores. As a senior at Kansas’ Wichita Heights High School, he was a Kansas AAAAAA first-team All-Stae selection after rushing for 1,837 yards and 34 touchdowns. The ESPN four-star prospect was rated the No. 2 junior college running back. He had offers from Boise State, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma State and UCF.
White (6-4, 210) played two seasons at Lackawanna College, where he caught 36 passes for 535 yards and six touchdowns last season, averaging 14.9 yards per reception. He attended Emmaus High in Macungie Pa., where he was an honorable mention All-Lehigh Valley Athletic Conference pick in 2009. He also received an offer from Texas Tech.
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WVU’s “Stripe the Stadium” campaign worked so well for its Big 12 football opener against Baylor, the athletic department is hoping to repeat the effort with a “Stripe the Coliseum” for the WVU-Kansas matchup on Jan. 28.
Fans are asked to wear either gold or blue, depending on where their seats are located. A map of the color layout can be found at www.wvusports.com.
WVU’s first Big 12 basketball game, Jan. 5 against Oklahoma, has been designated at a Gold Rush. All fans are encouraged to wear gold to that game.