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Smith questionable, Heastie missing for WVU

West Virginia moved the start of its spring practice back to April 6 in part to give quarterback Geno Smith more time to heal from a broken left foot.

But at a media luncheon on Wednesday, Mountaineers offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen expressed doubts about how much Smith will be able to do this spring, Mike Casazza reports in the Charleston Daily Mail. The sophomore was hurt during a January conditioning drill and was originally listed as out for six weeks. Mullen said Smith may only do skeleton drills this spring.

"It's a big, big deal and it certainly affects how we call plays in the spring, it certainly affects the drills we run and it certainly affects Geno Smith in the long run in terms of his ability to grow and mature," Mullen said.

It really is a big deal, because Smith is the presumed starter, and the only other quarterback on the roster is sophomore Coley White, who has barely seen the field. True freshmen Barry Brunetti and Jeremy Johnson will arrive this summer, and they may be forced into competing for time right away.

"They'd be in the top-three by default, they'd be on the bus by default, they'd be on the plane by default," Mullen said, adding that either one could be "one rep away from being the guy and having absolutely no clue what we're doing on offense."

The fact that Mullen lists two true freshmen in his top three behind Smith shows that the coaching staff doesn't appear to be counting on White to emerge as the starter.

In other news, sophomore Logan Heastie has left the team and is not included on the pre-spring depth chart. Head coach Bill Stewart said Heastie is still a member of the team if he so desires.

"He's not in any trouble," Stewart said. "He's not done anything wrong. It's not school related. It's him related.

"I'm not giving up on him. I'm not going to yell at him, I'm not going to be hostile toward him, I'm not going to challenge him."

Heastie was a highly-touted recruit who enrolled early last year but did not see much action. West Virginia is in need of receivers after the loss of seniors Alric Arnett and Wes Lyons. Sophomore Tavon Austin, a former slot receiver, is now listed as atop the depth chart at one of the wideout positions.