Expectations High for WVU WR Sills


MORGANTOWN — You canít pick up a magazine that doesn’t list West Virginia University among its Top-25 programs for the upcoming 2018 season.

Many of those same scribes have Mountaineersí senior David Sills V penned in as one of those players they expect to earn All-American status following a junior campaign where the Wilmington, Del., product led all FBS wide receivers in touchdown receptions (18).

Despite all the hype, however, the 6-foot-4 former quarterback heads into the season with the same expectations.

“They haven’t really changed,”î Sills V said. “I have the same mentality going into every season playing football. This year, there’s a bigger leadership role, I feel like.

“The biggest thing I want to help the team out with is connecting the team, having more of a family connection, having each other’s back, having the trust when the offense needs a stop from the defense, they can trust the defense to get that. When we need to put some points on the board, the defense can trust us.

“We’ve been doing a lot of hanging out and bonding stuff outside of here, like having meals together and stuff like that, which really does go a long way. That’s probably the only thing different that I’m taking out of this year.î”

Well, that and getting several newcomers up to speed on what he and quarterback Will Grier want to see out of this year’s receiving corps.

“We’re just trying to show them the ropes,î” Sills said. “We want them to come in, and we want them to have the grind early. We tell them, ‘OK, this is how we work.í

“You don’t want them to get in and get on the wrong foot like not knowing what the standard is and how we hold everybody here. Everyday I’m asking them if they caught today, if they did what they needed to do, get on the jugs, all of that. They are doing a great job of it; theyíre doing a great job competing and conditioning and with the lifts and everything. Iím excited to see what theyíre going to do this year, and I think theyíre very talented just from what Iíve seen so far. I know we havenít put any pads on or anything but, just from what Iíve seen so far, they are pretty talented.î

Tops among that influx of pass-catching talent will be University of Alabama transfer T.J. Simmons.

But, that isn’t the only name which drew the attention of coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff during the spring.

Dominique Maiden made enough strides to become the primary backup for junior-to-be speedster Marcus Simms while running back-turned-receiver Tevin Bush has moved into the mix behind Sills V.

ìI feel like we have enough weapons where itís tough for them (the opposition) to key in on one person because we have (senior receiver) Gary (Jennings Jr.), who had a tremendous season last year and has had a great offseason this year,” Sills said. “Heís ready to have another great year, so if I take coverage, then heís just going to have a huge game. If he has a huge game, then the coverage is going to go to him and weíve got (junior receiver) Marcus (Simms) and (redshirt sophomore receiver) T.J. (Simmons) and a whole bunch of other guys.

ìThe young guys have come in and done a great job adapting and stuff like that. We feel confident with how we work as a receiver unit, and weíre all confident in each other.î