Morgantown, WV – West Virginia has not had a 1,000-yard receiver since Gary Jennings and Ka’Raun White eclipsed the mark in 2017. Naturally, the lack of production has stemmed from youth and inexperience over the last two seasons. However, the group has been not short on talent, showing flashes of high-level play.
One of those receivers is Bryce Ford-Wheaton, who has steadily climbed up the depth chart over the last two seasons. He hauled 8 of his 12 receptions in the final four games as a redshirt freshman season. Last year, he continued to develop and became the go-to receiver on the outside, finishing the season second on the team in receiving yards (416) and touchdowns (3). This offseason, Ford-Wheaton is putting himself in a position to have a breakout season.
“I’ve been going hard in the weight room, trying to lean out muscle mass,” he said. “I’ve been eating right, which is something I haven’t really done in my past. So, I’ve been focusing on a lot of nutrition and just smaller things like fine-tuning my body and definitely a lot of work on the jug machine.”
“I really cut out all fast food, fried food,” specified Ford-Wheaton. “I’ve been trying to eat more chicken and fish than anything like red meat or beef or anything like that. The first few weeks are very hard, but now it's kind of a habit to eat healthy.”
“As a young guy, you really don’t know. You try to feel it out, but you don’t actually know until something clicks in your head,” continued Ford-Wheaton. “I just wanted to try this, and I think that it’s something that really helped me. I feel better than ever right now, especially with this new diet.”
“When I first came in, I seen guys like David Sills and Gary Jennings and they were so much older than me, and they were eating, always, healthy, and I was always looking at their plates, and I would be like, ‘ewe, why are ya’ll eating that,’ and they would always tell me, ‘one day you’re going to understand why,’ and I finally do understand why,” continued Ford-Wheaton. “It’s part of being an elite athlete, and if you really want to reach the next level and use your full potential while you can, then you really have to focus on everything because everything really does matter. So, hopefully, the younger guys right now will see me eating well and then they can tell you the same story to ya’ll in about two or three years.
Ford-Wheaton has taken on a leadership role but explained the receiver room has leadership across the board.
“It’s not like we have one specific leader, we have multiple leaders, and a lot of the younger guys gravitate towards people who like are in the same position or they can see themselves developing into,” said receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton. We have a really high standard right now in the room for leadership - we don’t really let anybody in our room slack. There’s a certain standard you have to meet every week and we push each other to make that every week.”
Ford-Wheaton stated he has very high expectations for himself and the receiving corps. Offensively, He believes they were just scratching the surface of their potential and will look to fire on all cylinders in the upcoming season.
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