Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

WVU FOOTBALL ; WR Gibson, QB Howard Forging Strong Bond

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

WVU FOOTBALL ; WR Gibson, QB Howard Forging Strong Bond

Article excerpt

INSIDE: WVU notebook, recruiting update 4B

MORGANTOWN - A couple of weeks ago at the Big 12 media days in Dallas, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen opined that Shelton Gibson "is probably the fastest player I've ever coached." He was talking about foot speed, not necessarily fast on the uptake.

Oh, Gibson is OK there, too. WVU's sophomore wide receiver has grown by leaps and bounds where learning the nuances of catching passes is concerned. He'll admit that it took some effort before his pass-catching and route-running and all of those things caught up to his raw speed. He'll also readily admit that he's not a finished product, either.

"I've still got a ways to go," he said.

No, what threw Gibson for a loop was when he showed up at the Puskar Center one day last year, preparing for a workout between his true freshman and redshirt freshman seasons.

"This guy walked up to me and it was Skyler [Howard, who had just arrived from junior college]," Gibson said. "I knew who it was, but this guy had [long] hair. He said, You want to throw later?' I said, Sure.'

"Well, two hours later he came back with a haircut and wanted to throw. And I'm like, Who is this guy?' "

"Yeah, he did," Howard said. "I tapped him on the shoulder and he actually said, Who are you?' "

Since then, of course, the two have formed a strong bond, which is one of the reasons for optimism about West Virginia's passing game this season even in the face of working in a relatively new quarterback - Howard has just 2 1/2 games of experience - and replacing NFL-caliber wide receivers Kevin White and Mario Alford.

It's such a bond, in fact, that Gibson went home to Texas with Howard after those spring drills in 2014. Gibson and slot receiver Jacky Marcellus made the trip to Fort Worth and it was anything but a vacation.

"I'd take them out to my old high school field," Howard said. "It was 117 [degrees] one day. You could see the heat rising off the turf."

"It was hot, man," Gibson said. …

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