Wide receiver Bradley Starks is becoming the West Virginia Mountaineers’ mystery man.
Starks, a senior with great speed and athleticism, was expected to provide Coach Dana Holgorsen with a dangerous deep threat in his passing offense.
No, that’s in question as Starks is not practicing with the team and Holgorsen isn’t really letting on why.
Starks spent much of the spring recovering from shoulder surgery but did show enough to make you think he would be a huge factor this season.
When practice started a week ago, he was expected to participate.
“He was injured, came back, got hurt again three or four days ago, and has some personal stuff right now. He didn’t hurt his shoulder again but he tweeked something. He has some things he has to work through,” Holgorsen said, going no further.
Starks caught only 19 passes last season as he battled injuries but he averaged 16.7 yards a catch, high on the team, and scored four touchdowns.
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Injuries are starting to take their toll as work in pads and contact continues to grow, headed by two practices on Thursday.
The biggest injury is to Julian Miller, the starting defensive tackle, who had his ankle in a boot after twisting it. According to Holgorsen, it’s a “day-to-day” injury, which means he isn’t expected to be out for an extended period of time.
Starting safety Darwin Cook missed his second straight day with a muscle strain but did a lot of work and likely will be back practicing today.
There were also a couple of other players limited and Holgorsen said, “that list is going to grow now” that they have started banging.
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Holgorsen has been wishing for help at quarterback, where he has only two scholarship players in starter Geno Smith and true freshman backup Paul Millard, needing some other quarterbacks to do some throwing in drills.
He got his wish on Thursday when a walk-on quarterback showed up.
Now all he has to do is learn his name.
“I don’t know a thing about him,” Holgorsen admitted, “I don’t have any idea what his name is.”
Actually, it is Ian Loy, who transferred to WVU from Potomac State in 2008 and who walked on under Bill Stewart in 2009. He’s from Frankfort High. He did not play football at Potomac State, but will ease the coaching staff’s work some, for they had to fill in on some of the passing drills, right up to Holgorsen himself.
Holgorsen is hoping to round up a couple more walk-ons.
There also is a walk-on running back now working out, D.J. Izon from Maryland, who also is something of a mystery man.