MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- JaJuan Seider hardly has to spell out what's plainly evident when he talks about his new gig as running backs coach at West Virginia: he's home.
Seider, a former player and graduate assistant at West Virginia, was hired less than 48 hours before spring drills opened Sunday, crossing the state in a flash from his previous job at Marshall to replace Robert Gillespie.
"As a coach in this profession and at this level, it's a dream to be back to the place where you first started," said Seider in his first appearance before the media since being hired. "I couldn't ask for anything better. Just hope I can stay here for a long, long time."
Seider spent the past three years as an assistant for Doc Holliday at Marshall but played for West Virginia from 1996-98 and finished his career at Florida A&M.
When he got the call, he said it was a simple choice. He also said he got Holliday's blessing.
"It was a no-brainer," said Seider. "The best thing about being back here, you've been a player, alumni here, an assistant grad coach here, when I talk to the kids now, I can sell the program. I lived it. That's the exciting part. And now I can be a fan again."
Seider is considered an excellent South Florida recruiter, an area that has long been a stronghold for the Mountaineers.
"I can talk the same language some of those kids talk," said Seider, who transferred for his final year to Florida A&M. "They want to send their kids with guys they trust."
Full pads at last
Players wore full pads for the first time Friday, returning to practice after pro day pushed it back a day from Thursday. Several assistant coaches said there was an initial surge in energy, before a lull.
"It started out good, and then it kind of slacked off," said safeties coach Tony Gibson. "We have to pick that up Sunday. Teach them how to play and keep focus for 21/2 hours while we're out there."
WR competition begins
Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said the competition at receiver is in its infancy with several new players, like freshman Daikiel Shorts and junior-college transfer Kevin White, just learning the offense.
"The more they rep, the more we'll see. There's a lot of processing going on with those new guys ... Dakiel and Kevin, they're processing. They're at the line of scrimmage, and you can see the wheels are turning."
As for true freshman Jordan Thompson, who faded into the background last year after coaches were raving about him in preseason? Dawson said that praise may have gone to his head.
"I think Jordan had a great spring last year, great camp, and I think everybody in this community patted him on the back and thought [he] was the greatest thing that came through, and it went to his head.".mobilehome - wvusports
Jenn Menendez: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1959 and Twitter @JennMenendez.