West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood, a projected starter this fall, has been arrested and faces charges of witness intimidation stemming from a 2012 murder case.
WVMetronews.com reported that West Virginia University police declined to discuss details of Monday's arrest, in which Smallwood was identified as an out-of-state fugitive. Smallwood is from Wilmington, Del.
The News-Journal of Wilmington reported that police said Smallwood, 20, repeatedly attempted to convince a witness to recant statements implicating a friend, identified as Zakee Lloyd, who has been charged with first-degree murder and is awaiting trial.
The News-Journal report said police allege that on multiple occasions in March and May 2013, Smallwood "called to try to get a witness to come and make a false statement to police recanting previous statements" that implicated Lloyd. Smallwood enrolled at WVU in January 2013.
Smallwood (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) played in every game last season, starting one. He rushed for 221 Yards and a TD on 39 carries and also had 11 receptions. In addition, he was WVU's main kick returner.
Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson spoke highly of Smallwood during spring practice in April: "He's versatile. We're finding a lot of ways to get him the ball. That kid's skilled."