September 26, 2007

Rod: Lankster, Thomas add depth for now

MORGANTOWN-West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez heaped more praise on an improving defense Tuesday and said that former projected starters Ellis Lankster and J.T. Thomas were "a couple of weeks away from getting into the rotation."

After a protracted "off-season" with a lingering preliminary hearing date that was cut short by an out-of-court settlement for a lesser penalty to a transporting stolen goods charge, the junior cornerback and freshman Will linebacker quietly came back on Mountaineer Field Saturday in the 48-7 victory.

Thomas, the 6-foot-2, 230 pounder from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Ely, was credited with two assisted tackles and Lankster, the 5-10, 190 pound transfer from Jones Junior College, picked up two solos, one assist for a total of three stops.

But because they have missed roughly five weeks of the season, their immediate playing time will come on special teams, said Coach Rod. They are believed to be running behind Will linebacker Mortty Ivy and boundary corner Antonio Lewis on the depth chart.

Rod praised Ivy, the 6-3, 235-pound junior from Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway, and Sam 'backer Marc Magro, 6-3, 240, from Morgantown University.

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