Fresh faces: West Virginia Mountaineers

August, 29, 2012
8/29/12
2:00
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Today we continue our look across the league at a few players from each team who had low profiles last year, but you'd better get to know before Saturday. They just might be household names by season's end.

More fresh faces:
Shaq Petteway, LB: Oklahoma State's Shaun Lewis burst on the scene at the Star linebacker spot as a freshman in Stillwater. Don't be surprised if Petteway does the same thing at the hybrid linebacker/safety position, where he'll start as a sophomore in the Mountaineers' new 3-4 defense. The former safety is 6-foot and 227 pounds, well-suited for the position, but can he prove himself? He made just eight tackles last year, but this position frees up athletes to make tons of plays.

Will Clarke, DT: Clarke's one of those players who ought to be the first player off the bus for the Mountaineers. He's a physical freak. Somebody please tell me the last time you saw a 6-foot-7, 271-pound defensive lineman walking around. He spent last year starting at defensive end, but he'll be fun to watch in the middle of the line after shifting positions this spring. The junior was a non-factor as a freshman in 2010 after suffering an ankle injury, but look for his profile to rise in a big way this season.

Jordan Thompson, WR: You know Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. You might even know J.D. Woods. But do you know Thompson? The Katy, Texas native enrolled early and turned heads immediately when he should have been in high school. He's a perfect fit for Dana Holgorsen's offense with great hands, tons of toughness and moves to shake any defender. He's already drawn some comparisons to Austin. That's a little premature, sure, but he's already won a starting spot in WVU's loaded offense. At 5-foot-7, 164 pounds, he learned how to take a hit this spring, too.

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