WVU Tight Ends Becoming Big Weapons
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s tight ends had more catches Saturday afternoon – seven – than they had in the past three seasons … combined.
Trevon Wesco hauled in five passes for 86 yards and also scored his first touchdown since 2016. Wesco’s tight end understudy, Jovani Haskins, latched on to two passes himself for 19 yards in the 47-10 win over TCU Saturday.
WVU had a total of four receptions by its tight ends in the previous three seasons combined. You have to go back to 2011 to find the last time Mountaineer tight ends reached double digits in catches for a season. Tyler Urban had them all that year, pulling in 20.
After nine games in the 2018 season, Wesco has 18 receptions and Haskins has 13.
That combination of 31 is the most in the season by WVU tight ends since 1999 when Anthony Becht had 35 and Sean Berton added three more. The best tight end season by the Mountaineers in the last quarter century was in 1994 when Lovett Purnell (41) and Chad Wable (3) combined for 44. And the greatest pass catching season for Mountaineer tight ends ever came in 1981 when Mark Raugh had 64 receptions and Jim Kaser had one.
Wesco and Haskins likely won’t eclipse that Raugh/Kaser mark, but they’ve become major pieces to West Virginia’s current offense both as receivers and blockers.
WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen has been singing Wesco’s praises since spring practice
“I’ve been saying it all year,” Holgorsen said of the 6-foot-4, 270-pound senior from Inwood, W.Va. “He’s getting better every game. The blocking aspect of it is something we’ve seen all year. The more he plays and the more we scheme things up for him, the better he is.
“Yeah, he’s pretty good. He’s a big part of what we’re doing and why we’re so successful offensively right now. I’ve seen this coming for quite a while.”
Wesco has caught a pass in seven of WVU’s nine games this season, and he’s currently working on a streak of six straight games with at least one catch. That may not seem like an incredible feat, but the Mountaineer tight ends had a grand total of one catch in 2016 and one in 2017 — and Wesco had both of those.
Obviously this season is much different.
“I think the Oklahoma game last year is when Trevon flipped the switch,” stated West Virginia offensive coordinator Jake Spavital. “Last year against TCU, he wasn’t the Wesco we saw today. He just got better over the course of last season and has continued to progress this season.”
Wesco has become a big part of WVU’s run blocking, and his role as a receiver is expanding week to week.
“You split him out, and obviously DBs aren’t used to covering 280 or whatever he is; he’s huge,” WVU quarterback Will Grier said of Wesco. “He causes mismatches. He’s a big dude. He brings a lot to this offense.
“He and Jovani both are playing at a really high level,” added Grier, who threw for 343 yards against the Horned Frogs Saturday. “We’re going to continue to grow that package. We love the way those guys play and the juice they bring.”