Mountaineers’ Buie to redshirt

MORGANTOWN – His name was conspicuously missing from the West Virginia University football team’s depth chart when it was released over the past weekend.

On Tuesday, coach Dana Holgorsen revealed why Andrew Buie’s name was left off the list. The junior-to-be will be redshirted for the 2013 season.

“Buie’s got to develop mentally and physically, let’s leave it at that,” Holgorsen said during his weekly press conference. “I fully expect him to be ready in the spring.”

Buie led the Mountaineers in rushing last year, gaining 851 yards. He was also the team’s top returning receiver, and his 28 catches was more than double the next top returner. There had been talk of moving the Jacksonville, Fla., native to inside receiver after Holgorsen expressed his discontent with the performance of those players during preseason practice.

Buie ran for 207 yards and two touchdowns in the Mountaineers’ upset victory over Texas last year, but saw his role diminish later in the season after the coaching staff opted to put Tavon Austin in the backfield.

With the transfer of stellar senior running back Charles Sims from Houston to West Virginia and with the emergence of junior college transfer Dreamius Smith and freshman Wendell Smallwood, playing time for Buie would be hard to come by. A healthy Dustin Garrison also muddied the water for Buie.

“I am looking forward to talking about Charles Sims, Dustin Garrison, Dreamius Smith and Wendell Smallwood,” Holgorsen said. “They will all play.”

Holgorsen said he did not force Buie to use a red-shirt year.

“He had some decisions, some of the decision he made,” Holgorsen said. “We just felt it was in the best interest of him and in the best interest for the future of our program not to burn that year.”

Garrison will have another year of eligibility left after this season, as will Smith. WVU will also have Pitt transfer Rushel Shell competing for playing time at the position next season.