Shawne Alston isn’t the first name people think of when they talk about the West Virginia offense. Names like Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey jump out. But in terms of play makers, if Alston can run like he did in 2011, then this West Virginia offense will be able to find better balance between the run and the pass.
“Those are electrifying guys (Smith, Austin & Bailey), I’m more of the grind it out type guy,” Alston said.
Alston’s tough minded mentality proved to be vital last season rumbling for 416 yards, and a team high 12 rushing touchdowns. Alston also scored two touchdowns in the Orange Bowl.
Going into this year Alston knows his role is to run hard and do the dirty work. He’ll be involved heavily when WVU gets inside the “score zone.” Alston even thinks that if the team wanted to run the ball play after play that they could do that.
“I think we could be a power running team, I think our offensive line does a good job of getting on blocks and hitting bodies. At fullback we have Ryan Clarke and Donovan (Miles), they are really good,” Alston said.
With the different types of backs, West Virginia has, Alston is the only true power back. Dustin Garrison is able to provide a spark by getting outside the tackle box or catching the ball out of the backfield. Andrew Buie runs hard, but is also more a speed guy. And true freshman Torry Clayton is built like Alston, but is yet to prove he’s that type of runner because he hasn’t seen game action.
Alston knows he’ll be the go to guy if West Virginia is in a goal line situation and he takes pride in that.
“I like being the workhorse,” Alston said.
Catching Up with Guard Jeff Braun