WVU tight ends coach Sean Reagan was excited to work with freshman CJ Donaldson.

Standing 6-2 and weighing 240 pounds, the Miami, Florida native was one of the more dynamic athletes in West Virginia’s 2022 signing class, and he was set to provide some well-needed depth in a position room that had recently struggled with both numbers and injuries. Right after he stepped on campus, though, Donaldson’s coaches told him to line up with the running backs.

“I think I had him for about a week,” Reagan said.

With a deeper tight ends room compared to previous years (Reagan said WVU is three-deep at that position), Donaldson has made the full move to running back. His dynamic style of play will help bolster a youthful running back corps consisting of a redshirt sophomore and two redshirt freshmen.

Thus far, the learning curve hasn’t seemed to be too steep for the true freshman.

“I think he’s proven that he’s ready to go. He’s got the body for it,” said WVU head coach Neal Brown. “We’ll continue to prep him this week.”

One thing seems to be certain: Donaldson will see some playing time this year. The amount and timing of it are yet to be determined, but he has seen no shortage of opportunities this August.

According to the head coach, Donaldson has had the most carries against the first-team defense out of all the running backs in camp. So far, he has taken advantage of those touches and is set to get more at WVU’s mock game on Thursday.

“Do I know how it’s going to go on Thursday? No, but he’s proven himself in practice,” Brown said. “The thing that we want to do with him is kind of grow his role. Going into it, will he be in a feature role? I’m not sure, but he’ll play. I feel really confident in telling you he’s going to play, but he’s a guy that I think his role will increase as he’s had success and gained some experience.”

Right now, Donaldson is focusing solely on running back work as his coaches attempt to get him acclimated to the college game and his new position. If he does see that success that Brown mentioned, he could get the call at different places in the offense — at Gulliver Prep, Donaldson played both tight end and wide receiver, racking up 1,164 yards and 13 touchdowns in his senior season.

“I would see some time in the future that he probably could play at wideout, line up at the hip at tight end, play at running back,” Reagan said. “Kid’s a good player.”