Reed Williams, last year’s leading tackler, still hopes to play his senior season of football as a Mountaineer leader in 2008.

The 6-2, 225-pound middle linebacker from Moorefield underwent surgery on both shoulders last winter. He said after Monday’s practice, for which he wore some pads, said they felt better.

But he expects to be wearing a green jersey when the Mountaineers don full gear Wednesday afternoon and actually will be really hitting hard for the first time since preseason practice began last Saturday.

“I’m still not quite 100 percent and not doing some live stuff,” Williams said. “I expect I’ll be limited until at least the middle of August. The doctor has told me to be patient and hasn’t given me full clearance yet.”

He hopes to get that later in the month, though, but will probably not be permitted to play in the Aug. 30 season’s opener against Villanova.

“Right now we’re just taking it day by day, week by week. We’re going through each practice working hard. But I certainly hope I will be able to play this year. Our goal obviously is to win the national championship, and we won’t be satisfied without it.”

Williams said Mike Joseph, WVU’s new director of strength and conditioning, has done a great job in helping him regain his strength in the shoulders.

Playing in all 13 games last year, he had a hand in a team-high 107 tackles. He also forced three fumbles and had one fumble recovery.

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Quarterback Patrick White is pleased with the early camp performances of wide receivers Alric Arnett and Bradley Starks.

Arnett is a 6-2, 180-pound transfer from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, while Starks is a 6-3, 182-pound redshirt freshman from Unionville, Va.

“They bring a deep-ball threat as well as a big-play threat,” White said. “I can throw them a short five-yard pass, and they can take it to the house.

“My passing game has come a long way. I’m enjoying everything that Coach (Jeff) Mullen is teaching me, and I’m soaking it in. He is a great, young mind with a lot of great ideas.”

White believes what the new offensive coordinator brings to the table will help a lot this year. He’s teaching new techniques everyday, according to the senior signal-caller and Heisman hopeful.

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The Mountaineers have been given both new and old fodder to embrace during the first four days of fall practice.

Coach Bill Stewart said that, with agreement from his staff, he plans to put a hold on installation of plays after Tuesday’s fourth session of drills.

“We’ve thrown a lot at them,” he explained. “Now on the first day with full pads we will bang and bang and bang.”

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As of Tuesday evening, WVU still was waiting on NCAA Clearinghouse approval of a sixth year for Pat Liebig, outstanding defensive tackle who did not play in 2007 while home helping his then-sick father.

But he worked out this summer and is practicing.

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