By Bob Hertzel
Times West Virginian
Spring break for at least one member of the West Virginia University football team was exactly that.
Starting cornerback Pat Miller’s spring break got off on the wrong foot, so to speak, when he suffered a broken small bone in the foot that required surgery, which was performed Tuesday morning upon his return to school.
According to head coach Dana Holgorsen, Miller will miss the rest of spring practice and is not expected to return to full speed until July 1.
That gives him plenty of time to get ready for the regular season, which does not open for another two months.
This was one of those good news, bad news things.
“It gives us a chance to look at the other guys (at cornerback),” Holgorsen said. “But we’re not very deep at corner.”
In truth, with the other starter Broderick Jenkins, all Holgorsen’s defensive staff have to work with as scholarship corners are Avery Williams and Terrell Chestnut.
“Both Williams and Chestnut obviously need work,” Holgorsen said.
Williams, out of Calvin Coolidge High in Washington, D.C., is a sophomore who did not play last year, while Chestnut also redshirted after coming out of Pottstown, Pa.
“Chestnut is doing OK, but he’s not where we want him to be by any stretch of the imagination,” Holgorsen said. “He’s still trying to figure out how to play in pads due to being out last year with shoulder surgery.”
He’s also still trying to get in shape, Holgorsen having noted that he was “puffing on an inhaler” on the sideline after a less than extended stay in practice.
Another player who did not play last year, Lawrence Smith, and Cecil Level both need reps.
Miller, a junior out of Hoover High in Birmingham, Ala., played in 13 games last year and started three of them, spending much time backing up All-Big East corner Keith Tandy. As a freshman he played in nine games.
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This was not the only news Holgorsen had after his team’s Tuesday practice.
Derek Bryant, a defensive end who transferred in last year from UCLA but did not play, was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules.
No further information was given.
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And there has also been a position change made necessary by fullback Matt Lindamood’s leaving the team just before spring break.
The former runner-up as West Virginia’s prep Player of the Year out of Parkersburg had been troubled by a neck injury that forced him to give up the game.
Redshirt senior Donovan Miles was moved from linebacker to fullback to help fill out the numbers.
“Donovan will find more playing time on offense,” Holgorsen said.
Holgorsen doesn’t have depth at the position but says he has been very pleased with the work done by Ryan Clarke this spring.
“Clarke has been doing great,” Holgorsen said.
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The time for spring break is always an interesting time because the players have spent a week working out in a different manner.
“We had a little run Monday morning, and some of them showed us what they had for breakfast,” Holgorsen quipped.
The coaches also took time to get away from football for a while, Holgorsen saying he got in some family time.
Email Bob Hertzel at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.