The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 16, 2010

White getting chance to shine

By Dave Morrison
Register-Herald Sports Editor

— West Virginia quarterback Coley White came to WVU well aware of the shadow cast by his older brother Patrick, now a quarterback with the Miami Dolphins.

His brother is the only player in NCAA history to win four bowl games and he left with several Big East and WVU records in his pocket.

It would seem to be a no-win situation.

Coley?

The 6-foot, 175-pound sophomore has played only once, amassing seven rushing yards on three attempts against Marshall, though one was a 13-yard scramble. He has not attempted a pass in a game that counts.

He was a third-teamer last year, behind starter Jarrett Brown, now graduated, and true freshman Geno Smith.

And WVU has added highly touted quarterback recruits Barry Brunetti and Jeremy Johnson, both of whom will arrive this summer.

But, as fate would have it, White is now getting his shot at impressing the coaches.

Smith, the heir apparent to replace Brown, is out of spring drills with a foot injury. He is running drills but will not see any live action.

It was thought White might move to slot receiver, just so he can try to earn playing time.

He is seeing double duty.

“Geno (Smith) takes every snap in skele (skeleton drills) and Coley takes every snap in team,” coach Bill Stewart said Wednesday.

“I am really pleased with how he has responded. We have to get him out there and get some catches as a slot because he wants to play that. Maybe that is where he will be and maybe not. He is doing a good job for us right now. He is doing it all.”

And he may need to do even more to earn playing time, though he has impressed the coaches.

“I like what I see with Coley,” Stewart said. “He can run the option, he can get up in the alley and he has made some nice throws as well. He is getting better.”

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West Virginia’s J.T. Thomas has been named to the 2010 Lott Trophy Watch.

Thomas is a 6-2, 225-pound linebacker from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who was second on the team with 76 tackles last season.

There are 41 other players on the list.

Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, members of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation Board of Directors, the Legends Coaches and distinguished alumni of various schools around the nation.

The winner, who will be announced at an annual black-tie gala in December, receives $25,000 for his school’s general scholarship fund.

Three runners-up each receive $5,000.

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The annual Gold-Blue spring football scrimmage will be held Friday, April 30, at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Festivities are set to begin at 7 p.m. with an old-timers game featuring former Mountaineer players. The intrasquad scrimmage under the lights will conclude WVU’s spring football drills. The offense will be wearing gold uniforms, and the defense blue uniforms.

Fans can attend the Mountaineer Fan Fest in the stadium lot adjacent to the Ronald McDonald House from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., featuring inflatable games for kids and an autograph session with select former Mountaineer football players.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Milan Puskar Stadium gate on game day or in advance the week of the game at the Mountaineer Ticket Office located in the WVU Coliseum.

There will not be an autograph session following the game, and fans will not be permitted on the field. Mountaineer football will conduct its annual Fan Day in August. Details will be released later this summer.

Proceeds from the Gold-Blue game again will benefit WVU Children’s Hospital. The Mountaineers have donated $597,032 to Children’s Hospital during the past 25 years.