West Virginia RB Wendell Smallwood Accused of Witness Intimidation

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2014

West Virginia's Wendell Smallwood (4) carries the ball during the fourth quarter of their NCAA college football game against William and Mary in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. West Virginia won 24-17. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)
Christopher Jackson/Associated Press

Updates from Tuesday, July 29

Mich Vingle of the Charleston Gazette reports the charges against Wendell Smallwood have been dropped:

Original Text:

Wendell Smallwood, a running back at West Virginia University, was arrested Monday and will be charged with trying to intimidate a witness in another trial for a friend, according to Robin Brown of the Wilmington News Journal:

Wendell Lynn Smallwood, 20, of Wilmington, was arrested as an out-of-state fugitive and is being held for extradition, Cpl. Mark Ivey said.

Smallwood tried to get a witness to recant statements implicating a friend of his charged with first-degree murder, Ivey said.

Brown's report also notes that there were reported incidents in early 2013 of Smallwood making calls in an attempt to "get a witness to come and make a false statement to police recanting previous statements."

Smallwood will be returned to Delaware, but Ivey said in Brown's report that he doesn't know exactly when the extradition will take place.    

A sophomore heading into the 2014 season, Smallwood played in 12 games for West Virginia last year. He was third on the team in rushing yards with 221, scored one touchdown and averaged 5.7 yards per carry. 

Aug 31, 2013; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back Wendell Smallwood (4) carries the ball against the William & Mary Tribe during the fourth quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The West Virginia Mountaineers won 24-17. Mandatory Credi

The 20-year-old also caught 11 passes for 132 yards and returned 30 kickoffs for 541 yards. Charles Sims, who led West Virginia in rushing last season, was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft, opening up a bigger opportunity at the position for the Mountaineers. 

Smallwood was poised to move up the depth chart this season, possibly even as the No. 1 guy. West Virginia offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson raved about the sophomore after spring practices to Doug Walp of the Daily Athena:

He’s versatile. We’re finding a lot of ways to get him the ball. That kid’s skilled. Through nine practices he’s got the mental capacity to handle a lot of different things, so we’re really trying to push the limits with what we can do with that kid. And right now, we’re just seeing what he can do.

It is unclear at this time what action West Virginia University and head football coach Dana Holgorsen will take against the running back. 

Until Smallwood gets extradited back to Delaware, it's unclear what the immediate and long-term future for the running back is.