In 2013, as a true sophomore Ricky Rumph played in nine games for West Virginia either at cornerback or on special teams. He even had a career-high three tackles when WVU met Oklahoma in the first Big 12 game of the year.
Rumph proved to add depth at corner playing in a backup role, but this spring the Mountaineer coaches slid Rumph to safety. The Daytona Beach native, is already running with the first team.
"The position change hasn't been tough really, but there is a size difference," said Rumph. "As far as picking up the scheme, it's been fine."
During the open spring practice in Morgantown on March 29, Rumph made an interception in the end zone during the team portion of practice. He also had a few tackles.
Entering the spring Rumph knew the fifteen practices had to be taken seriously, he knew he had to have a sense of urgency if he wanted to see the field.
"The coaches told me it's time to step up because we have expectations," Rumph said.
He credits offseason preparation for the success he is having during the spring.
"I watched more film. I did some more speed work," Rump said. "I'm trying to get a little bigger since I'm playing safety now. I have to keep that weight on and keep getting bigger."
Fellow safeties Karl Joseph, Jeremy Tyler, Jarrod Harper and Malik Greaves are all ten to fifteen pounds heavier than Rumph. Strengthening his body is something he can work on through the summer months to get ready for the season.
Currently Rumph is running alongside Karl Joseph with the first team, while Tyler and Harper are running with the second team.
"The depth is great right now. We want everyone that can play to play. If one man goes down, the next man has to be able to step in and do the same thing," said Rumph.
One advantage Rumph may have over the other safeties is his familiarity with safeties coach Joe DeForest.
"With Coach DeForest back coaching safeties, I'm really comfortable since he recruited me. I'm used to him and I know what he wants, so it's really good," said Rumph. "He's a little tougher on me. He just is coaching me up though, he wants to make sure I get it."
Rumph is motivated and has clear goals to make an impact on the 2014 season.
"I want to be a starter, but if I'm not becoming a starter, I just to be out there on the field more on defense than special teams," said Rumph. "I want to help better all of the defensive backs. I want to help coach the young guys up and everyone else that's new to the defense."