WVU Football 2020 Iron Mountaineers Named

West Virginia receiver Bryce Wheaton hauls in a touchdown pass
West Virginia receiver Bryce Wheaton hauls in a touchdown pass

West Virginia University football players Dante Bonamico, Noah Guzman, James Gmiter and Bryce Wheaton were named the recipients of the 2020 Iron Mountaineer Award, presented to the most outstanding performers in WVU’s offseason strength and conditioning program.

The awards are typically announced prior to West Virginia’s Gold-Blue football game at the end of spring practice. That game, and most of WVU’s spring practice sessions, were wiped out by the Covid-19 pandemic.

West Virginia’s Dante Bonamico prepares to block a James Madison dunk on a punt return.

Since 1996, 67 players have been tabbed with Iron Mountaineer distinction, including 13 who have earned the award more than once. Bonamico is a redshirt senior safety, Guzman is a junior safety, Gmiter is a redshirt sophomore offensive lineman and Wheaton is a redshirt sophomore wide receiver.

The winners are the best in the testing at the conclusion of winter conditioning, measuring the broad jump, vertical jump, bench, squat, power clean lift, 225 bench, 40-yard sprint, pro shuttle, three cone, 60-yard shuttle and the 10/20-yard sprint. The winners are selected from three groups: FB/TE/LB/SP, QB/RB/WR/DB and OL/DL. The top performers in each category are selected by their teammates, earning the Iron Mountaineer Award.

West Virginia defenders Noah Guzman, (bottom) Dante Stills (left) and Dylan Tonkery team up for a tackle

The distinctive award is a 6.2-pound coal statue made entirely of native West Virginian natural resources: coal, wood and natural wood stain. One permanent Iron Mountaineer with the names of all winners is on display in the WVU strength and conditioning complex.

West Virginia offensive linemen Briason Mays (l) and James Gmiter (74) protect quarterback Austin Kendall

Past Iron Mountaineers

2019 – Josh Chandler-Semedo, Reese Donahue, Alec Sinkfield, Colton McKivitz

2018 – Gary Jennings Jr., Colton McKivitz, David Sills V, Dylan Tonkery

2017 – David Long Jr., Jon Lewis and Elijah Wellman

2016 – Darrien Howard, Tyler Orlosky, Daikiel Shorts Jr., Elijah Wellman

2015 – Jared Barber, Karl Joseph, Tyler Orlosky

2014 – Cody Clay, Mark Glowinski, Daryl Worley

2013 – Connor Arlia, Isaiah Bruce, Will Clarke

2012 – Jeff Braun, Will Clarke, Ryan Nehlen, Taige Redman

2011 – Will Clarke, Najee Goode, Keith Tandy

2010 – Matt Lindamood, Chris Neild, Noel Devine, Don Barclay, Keith Tandy

2009 – Noel Devine, Chris Neild, Nate Sowers, J.T. Thomas, Reed Williams

2008 – Zac Cooper, J.T. Thomas, Sowers

2007 – Keilen Dykes, Ovid Goulbourne, Darius Reynaud

2006 – Pat Liebig, Marc Magro, Steve Slaton

2005 – Craig Wilson, Owen Schmitt, Jason Colson

2004 – Craig Wilson, Scott Gyorko, Mike Lorello

2003 – Quincy Wilson, Pat Liebig

2002 – Rasheed Marshall, Lance Nimmo

2001 – David Upchurch, Shawn Hackett

2000 – Avon Cobourne, Khori Ivy, Chris Edmonds, Antwan Lake

1999 – Greg Robinette, Barrett Green, Boo Sensabaugh, Khori Ivy

1998 – Tanner Russell, Boo Sensabaugh, Eric de Groh, Shawn Foreman

1997 – Curtis Keaton, Steve Lippe

1996 – Bernardo Amerson, Charles Emanuel.