West Virginia redshirt sophomore receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton has steadily progressed since his arrival to Morgantown and is positioning himself this offseason to have a breakout season in 2021. Head coach Neal Brown stated earlier during the spring practice period that Ford-Wheaton had a “great winter” and believes he is ready to take the next step, calling him “uber-talented, intelligent,” and knows the offense.
“I think he can be one of the better receivers in our league - I really do believe that,” said Brown. “He's becoming a more complete player playing away from the ball, and it doesn't get talked about, but he's been a really consistent special teams player for us. I'm excited to watch him this spring."
Any accolades Ford-Wheaton may get during the summer, or as he potentially earns spots on watchlists as the season transpires, he knows it has to be proven on the field.
“Honestly, my mindset going into this season is, I’ve already got my feet wet, I’ve already started multiple games, so, now I know what I need to do,” he said. “There shouldn’t be any more pregame jitters or anything like that. I know exactly what I’m getting into now.”
Ford-Wheaton posted career-highs six catches against Kansas and totaled 104 yards against Kansas State, including a career-long 58-yard reception.
“I think my biggest thing is consistency and doing it every game, not just one game or two games,” said Ford-Wheaton. “I want to be a factor every game, so I think that’s really what I need to improve on.”
Adding, “I think I’m capable of making big-time plays and big-time catches. So, I think I just need to go out there and prove that. I think when the ball is in the air, I think more people should think I’m going to catch it than not, so that’s really what I need to work on.”
The receiving corps has struggled with drop passes, and naturally, that’s one area the Mountaineers are looking for consistency. According to Ford-Wheaton, the group has put in a lot of work catching balls this offseason to remedy the problem.
“This past offseason, in the winter especially, we caught more balls than I would say, honestly than anybody in the Big 12,” he said. “I mean, we’ve caught every day – we’ve caught thousands of balls every week – I think the total for the winter was like 89,000 balls combined. We took it really serious, and we know what we have to do to improve so, I think we made great strides in that area too.”
The annual Gold and Blue Game is scheduled to kickoff Saturday, April 24, at 1:00 pm.
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