For West Virginia, Fullback Is An Evolving Position
How does the saying go? “East is East, and West is West and never the twain shall meet.”
In the past, that’s basically been the case for the fullback and tight end positions at West Virginia University. There was one or the other, but rarely did they combine.
But things are changing for the Mountaineers when it comes to the fullback position … at least in some cases.
Dan Gerberry is a new member of the assistant coaching staff at WVU, having been promoted this past January after serving as the program’s senior analyst last year.
Usually during interview sessions with Gerberry, the questions never get past the slash in his title – tight ends/fullbacks coach.
Gerberry gets a lot of questions about tight ends.
Not so much.
But Gerberry coaches both positions, though sometimes they are separate and sometimes they are the same.
Trevon Wesco and Jovanni Haskins can line up about anywhere – fullback, in-line tight end, H-back, flex tight end, wherever. But West Virginia also has a few who are purely fullbacks.
“I think it’s more of an individual basis,” explained Gerberr when asked what separates tight ends from fullbacks in WVU’s offense. “Some aren’t as tall or aren’t as heavy, so they are just a fullback. And there are some who fit in best just as a tight end, and there are others, like Trevon and Jovanni, who can do both.”
Elijah Wellman was an excellent lead-blocking fullback for the Mountaineers for the past four seasons, but he’s graduated now. Thus WVU is looking for his replacement.
Walk-on Elijah Drummond got some snaps last year as Wellman’s backup. The 6-foot, 232-pound sophomore from Bridgeport, W.Va., could certainly handle the starting role this year, though he and fellow walk-on Joseph Turner have some competition at the fullback spot this spring.
Logan Thimons (6-1, 228 lbs.) played in five games last year at linebacker. But now a third-year sophomore, he’s been moved over to offense where he’s learning the fullback position.
“Logan is a physical kid who does everything right,” noted Gerberry. “The thing that I say about him all the time is that he plays the game the right way. He’s a fantastic kid. He is smart. It is important to him. He plays hard. He plays tough. He plays physical. A lot of the things are coming along with him. He just needs some more reps at it.
“Elijah Drummond is also doing a good job,” continued Gerberry, who was a first-team All-MAC offensive lineman his senior season at Ball State in 2008 “He is developing. He’s as consistent as you possibly can be. He does everything right all the time.”
Wesco and Haskins also could be used at the fullback spot at times as well. It’s a position that is still evolving in West Virginia’s offense.