As the 2019 season waged on, wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton grew more confident. That fact was reflected in his play.
Ford-Wheaton, who stated on Twitter that he legally changed his last name over the summer, caught 12 passes for 201 yards and two scores last season. Perhaps his biggest contribution came in the fourth quarter of the matchup against Kansas State, when he caught a 50-yard bomb from quarterback Jarret Doege that served as the game winner in a 24-20 victory.
Head coach Neal Brown said Saturday that Ford-Wheaton, now a redshirt sophomore, is making progress during the preseason, and it’s evident to the head coach that the player’s confidence continues to grow.
“He has made plays, and you can see him before your eyes gaining some confidence. I’m not totally surprised,” Brown said. “I knew he was gonna be a really good player here, I just didn’t know exactly when it was gonna happen.”
But the wide receiver from North Carolina isn’t all the way there yet: Brown said he still has to prove how talented he is by performing on game days.
“He’s not to that point yet — he’s got to go out and do it on Saturdays in games,” Brown said. “But most people that perform well in practice and perform well in scrimmages, usually that carries over to the game, and I expect that to be the case with him.”
Brown said Ford-Wheaton is one of several Mountaineers who handled the dead period in college football with grace, noting that he was one of the team’s top performers during summer workouts.
Ford-Wheaton will suit up for the Mountaineers this season wearing the No. 0, a first for the program under a new NCAA rule. He also has been vocal on social media regarding coronavirus-related guidelines at WVU.