West Virginia Preseason Football Practice Report #6

MORGANTOWN, WV — Practice #5 for West Virginia University football was held Saturday morning at the Steve Antoline Family Practice Field.

The mountaineers were coming off a recovery day on Friday and had moderate work this morning in shorts and shoulder pads. The team is due to have physical training on Sunday and Monday before its next recovery day on Tuesday.

The first scrimmage of West Virginia’s fall camp will take place next Thursday at the stadium.

Over five practices, Brown said he was always trying to figure out which guys could do what in certain situations. Who gets the ball in the third and seventh? Who are their most trusted defenders? Which specialists are the most reliable? Who will emerge at quarterback? Who will assert themselves at the right tackle?

Brown admitted on Saturday that it was always trial and error, at least in the first scrimmage.

“As for the O line and the D line, just because they’ve played so much football, we have a pretty good idea of ​​the strength and weakness of those guys,” he said. . “The receivers, the first group, we know what they do well. We are still learning with the quarterbacks.

“I think when it comes to tight ends, we try to develop some depth and find out what these two, three and four guys can do. Defensively, in the secondary, we have a lot of different ways to go about it. go,” he continued. “We can play up to six guys and we’re feeling pretty good, so we’re mixing up our packages. The linebackers have been playing all spring, but we need a lot of valuable reps and we need to get there.”

As for the quarterbacks, they all got plenty of reps again on Saturday.

“We did situational things today and I think Nicco (Marchiol) threw the ball his best in all five practices,” Brown said. “He’s growing. The game is starting to slow down because he has a better understanding of the defensive structure and is more comfortable with our games than he was in the spring, which is to be expected.

“(Will Crowder) was strong. He missed day one but has been there for the past four and he’s definitely got some growth. JT (Daniels) has more experience than all of them and then Garrett Greene I had a great two-minute ride today to kind of finish the practice.”

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You can put Brown in the category of coaches who don’t adhere to the “game player” philosophy. In most cases, the positive things a player does in training usually show up in games.

“There are very few players,” he explained. “What I mean by that is that there are very few who have the ability to train badly and then all of a sudden play at a high level in a game. Now the flip side part of the coin is that I think there are a lot of really good players training and that doesn’t translate into the game.

“There are several reasons behind this,” Brown continued. “Maybe they have some anxiety. Maybe they’re really routine-based and then when they come into a game it’s not as predictable and they’re not as successful, but I does not accept ‘players’. Football is a game of trust and for the coaches and for the players you have to earn that trust in training.”

The process of building that trust continues on Sunday morning.


* Among the recent additions Brown singled out on Saturday was freshman defensive lineman Asani Sequoia from Suwanee, Georgia, transfer from Tyler Junior College Jaylon SheltonMiami transfer Tirek Austin-Cavethe two corners of the quadrennial transfers Rashad Ajayi and Wesley McCormick and first year hybrid CJ Donaldsonwho Brown says is capable of playing three different positions, including running back.

Brown said Redwood is still a relative newcomer to football, but he trained well at Collins Hill High and added 90 pounds to his 280-pound frame in a relatively short period of time.

Shelton displayed a knack for retaining information and showed savvy play on the pitch. Austin-Cave is doing well at linebacker and he thinks Ajayi and McCormick will be factors this season.

As for Donaldson, he weighs 240 pounds with plenty of capacity.

“He’s giving the defense personnel issues,” Brown said.

Junior college wide receiver Cortez Braham also showed some things through the first five practices and is probably a bit ahead of Jeremy Aaron right now because he’s been here a little longer than Aaron.

* Jim Karwoski, a two-way player who scored three seasons for the Mountaineers from 1963-65, participated in practice today with his wife, Marta, and grandchildren Brendan and Brady. Karwoski said he once had more than 20 tackles in WVU’s big 28-27 win over Syracuse, bound for the Sugar Bowl, to wrap up the 1964 regular season.

“What I remember the most from that game was how cold it was and how empty the stadium was after half-time,” he said. “A lot of people went to the MountainLair to warm up and watch the game on the radio.”

New Football Administrator and Deputy Director of Sport Steve Uryasz was also a secondary observer today. Steve always has a good story or two up his sleeve and when he worked at Texas Tech he joked that Lubbock is so open you can sit on your porch and watch your dog run “for miles and miles. kilometres”.

Awesome stuff there!

* Speaking of visitors, consensus All-American Darius Stills was in practice earlier this week. He said he was still in rehabilitation after recent back surgery and turned down an opportunity to sign with the San Francisco 49ers before training camp. He added that his agent had recently received a call from the Chicago Bears.

* Second year Kaden Prather did a nice over the shoulder grip on a drill this morning, and Preston Fox made another long take for a touchdown later in practice. I tweeted earlier this week that Bryce Ford Wheaton is the closest thing I’ve seen to Jerry Porter, body-wise, well, Fox could be the footballing reincarnation of John Pennington.

Who can ever forget Pennington’s superb touchdown just before the end of the first half of the 2003 Pitt Game to give West Virginia a 24-24 tie with the Panthers? This score completely changed the complexion of a game that the Mountaineers ended up winning 52-31.

Today, John is the head football coach at West Virginia State University.

* You can watch Brown’s press conference in its entirety on WVUsports.com and the official WVU YouTube channel YouTube.com/wvusports.

* Yesterday, the University of Pittsburgh announced that the Backyard Brawl 2022 renewal has officially sold out. Both teams will play for the 105e time, but the first since West Virginia won 21-20 at Milan’s Puskar Stadium in 2011. This morning, the Panthers also announced on social media that a limited number of standing rooms will be made available. available to the general public.

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