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WVU finishes spring drills this afternoon

Published: Apr. 24, 2021 at 8:05 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The West Virginia Mountaineers wrapped up spring drills Saturday afternon with their annual Blue Gold game that actually came down to a couple of lineman. With the score tied at 38-38, they ended the game with a drill called “big man 1 on 1″ where defensive lineman Brayden Dudley kept offensive lineman Noah Drummond from completing a pass which gave the Gold team the deciding point.

A socially distanced crowd of 8, 312 watched the game as the proceeds benefitted WVU Medicine Children’s.

“It was a fun afternoon,” West Virginia coach Neal Brown said. “We wanted our players to have an opportunity to compete in front of fans in the stands, and we wanted everyone watching it to enjoy it. We wanted to play clean football, and I thought we accomplished that today.”

During halftime, Brown announced this spring’s spring award winners, beginning with the Iron Mountaineer Award winners presented by the WVU strength and conditioning staff. Recognized this year for their work in the weight room were Leddie Brown, Zach Frazier, Graeson Malashevich, Tony Mathis Jr. and Scottie Young.

Malashevich, a sophomore from Spring Valley High in Ceredo, West Virginia, was also honored as this year’s Tommy Nickolich Award winner, presented by the Blue & Gold News to the program’s top walk-on player. “I love the kid, and I love everything he’s about,” Brown said. “He’s one of the hardest working players on the team, and I think he’s going to work himself into a role this year.”

Here are other awards that were given out this afternoon.

Juice Award - Garrett Greene (offense), Eddie Watkins Jr. (defense)

Love to Practice (Attitude) Award – Zach Frazier (offense), Nicktroy Fortune (defense), J.P. Hadley (special teams)

Perfect Effort – Mike O’Laughlin (offense), Edward Vesterinen (defense)

Outstanding Walk-on Award – Nick Malone and Tyler Connelly (offense), Drew Joseph (defense)

Most Improved First-Year Player Award – Jordan White, Garrett Greene and Reese Smith (offense), Lanell Carr, Jackie Matthews and Taurus Simmons (defense)

Most Improved Overall – Tony Mathis Jr. and Parker Moorer (offense), Akheem Mesidor and VanDarius Cowan (defense)

Scout Special Teams Award – Naim Muhammad AVarius Sparrow

Most Productive Player Award – Winston Wright Jr. and Isaiah Esdale (offense), Dante Stills (defense), Malachi Ruffin (special teams)

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