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West Virginia spring game: David Sills stars in return to wide receiver

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said he expects his team to look "completely different" in late August than it appeared Saturday during the Gold-Blue Game at Milan Puskar Stadium.

The final stages of rehab limited several key Mountaineers to the sideline, including safety Dravon Askew-Henry, offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste and wide receiver Ka'Raun White.

One offensive duo, though, appeared in midseason form as quarterback Will Grier connected with receiver David Sills six times for 98 yards. Sills caught five of Grier's first seven passes, punctuating a spring that marked his return to Morgantown after one season as a junior-college quarterback in California.

His journey is remarkable in that Sills began his college career at West Virginia in 2015. Recruited as a quarterback, he played as a receiver and caught the decisive pass in a bowl win against Arizona State from Skyler Howard.

Howard's replacement -- after Sills threw for 1,636 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall at El Camino College -- is Grier, the former Florida quarterback. And Sills looks like his top target in 2017.

Once a prodigy at quarterback who committed to USC at age 13, Sills wasn't ready to move on from the position.

He is ready now.

"He’s extremely football smart," Holgorsen said Saturday, "and that rubs off on the guys in the huddle."

Of the Grier-to-Sills connection, Holgorsen said it’s been "fun to watch" this spring.

Over the next two years, they could rank as one of the best offensive pairs in the Big 12. The 6-foot-3, 201-pound Sills still thinks like a starting quarterback, Holgorsen said, and figures to help West Virginia in many ways as it replaces top pass-catchers Shelton Gibson and Daikiel Shorts.

As for Grier, he’s settled as No. 1 quarterback at the close of spring after throwing for 202 yards on 12-of-18 passing in the spring game.

"He looked pretty good to me," Holgorsen said of Grier, who sat out last season to satisfy transfer rules. "He’s as good as advertised. I just like the kid’s demeanor. He’s got complete control of the huddle.

"It’s going to be different when it’s live, because we’re obviously protecting him right now."

Yes, much will appear different in August as the Mountaineers prepare for a neutral-site opener against Virginia Tech.

"I know where we’re at," Holgorsen said, "and I know we can’t get any better until three months down the road."

For mid-April, they looked pretty good at two important spots on offense.