Tight end eager for larger role in Mountaineers’ offense

MORGANTOWN — There was a point two years ago when Trevon Wesco would sit in the position meetings inside the Puskar Center with no one else to talk to but himself.

The 2016 Mountaineers had one tight end — the term used loosely in the language of WVU’s offense — on the roster, and that was Wesco. Sure, there were Elijah Wellman and a host of “halfback” types that split time at flanker along the offensive line, but Wesco was the only true tight end in the fold.

Fast-forward to this summer, and Wesco doesn’t have to make conversation with himself anymore with the additions of Miami transfer Jovani Haskins, as well as true freshmen Mike O’Laughlin and T.J. Banks.

Even the coaching staff is taking a different approach with tight ends, as head coach Dana Holgorsen named Dan Gerberry the fullbacks/tight ends coach in a newly established position.

We’ve heard for years that the tight end will eventually end up in WVU’s offense under Holgorsen and now offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, but every year, the final stats say otherwise. Wesco caught one pass, albeit for a touchdown, in 2016, and had one catch for 1 yard last season (he also caught a 2-point conversion in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, against Utah).

Holgorsen said the reason he didn’t want to add many tight end plays to the offense was because he simply didn’t have enough bodies. That’s not the case anymore, and Wesco believes his senior season could be the year he’s finally a major part of the offense.

“I think we are definitely going to see more of the tight end, 100 percent,” he said. “I’m just excited for us to be on the field and have the opportunity to help our team win the game. We’ll block, catch, do whatever we can do to win.”

Wesco, a Martinsburg native, said he’s “by far in the best shape of my life, that’s for a fact.”

He’s up to 270 pounds and stands at 6-foot-4, so he’s clearly a big target for quarterback Will Grier. But Grier learned a lot about Wesco this spring that he didn’t know from his two years in the program.

“I didn’t realize how talented he really is,” Grier said. “He had a really, really impressive spring, and we’re excited about his potential and what he can do. He shows up on run plays and just gets after it. If you ask around the locker room, they will tell you the same thing — he has turned into a difference maker. The defensive guys and the offensive guys alike will tell you the same thing.”

Don’t be surprised to see Wesco do more than he has, as far as his responsibilities go. While he is the most natural and experienced tight end on the team, that position can play in the backfield, a la Wellman’s role.

“I’m catching the ball more than I used to, so I’d say that,” Wesco said. “I’m playing fullback, which I didn’t really do that in the past. I’m doing more of what Eli did.”

Whether or not the tight end will finally become a factor in the offense remains to be seen, but there is no doubt the pieces are there to make it happen. After playing two years and grabbing just two passes for 7 yards, Wesco should be the one to reap the benefits.

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