MORGANTOWN — Beginning heart Zach Frazier and main rusher CJ Donaldson will each be unavailable for West Virginia’s bowl sport, head coach Neal Brown introduced Sunday.
Frazier was dominated out shortly after he sustained an harm within the Mountaineers’ (8-4, 5-3 Large 12) regular-season finale at Baylor.
Frazier had surgical procedure quickly after that sport and Brown revealed Sunday that Donaldson has additionally undergone a process that can have him sidelined for the staff’s sport in opposition to North Carolina (8-4, 4-4) within the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Dec. 27 (5:30 p.m./ESPN).
“That’s actually my determination,” Brown mentioned. “He had surgical procedure…As a head coach, you’ve obtained to make selections for the betterment of this system, but in addition for the appropriate causes for every particular person. I felt like an offseason was extra vital to him than not having the ability to play full pace within the bowl sport.”
Donaldson led the Mountaineers with 798 speeding yards and 11 touchdowns this season. He was carefully adopted by freshman Jahiem White, who completed with 792 yards and would be the starter for the bowl sport.
With Justin Johnson Jr. coming into the switch portal, WVU may have three scholarship working backs for the sport — White, Jaylen Anderson (129 yards) and true freshman DJ Oliver.
Proper guard Brandon Yates will slide inside to begin at heart rather than Frazier.
“Yates will play heart after which (Nick) Malone will proceed to play, we’ll have some rotation there,’ Brown mentioned. “It’s actually form of a peak into 2024.”
“He’s gotten a whole lot of reps taking part in, clearly not within the sport, however practising and thru all of fall camp,” offensive coordinator Chad Scott mentioned of Yates. “He’s been doing an outstanding job in these bowl practices.”
Ja’Quay Hubbard will begin in Yate’s spot at proper guard.
The one different harm for WVU is large receiver Preston Fox, who Brown considers questionable to play.
“I feel for Preston Fox is simply too early,” he mentioned. “We’ll have a greater thought once we get all the way down to Charlotte. He’s practiced a little bit bit, however we’ll know extra the week of the sport.”
Fox caught 26 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns this 12 months. He’s additionally the staff’s major kickoff and punt returner.
If Fox is unavailable, Brown mentioned cornerback Beanie Bishop and freshman receiver Rodney Gallagher will deal with punt returns and Gallagher and Oliver will return kickoffs.
Brown mentioned he at the moment doesn’t anticipate any gamers who’re on the roster and wholesome to decide out of the sport.