WVU Fall Camp Notebook II | WVU | West Virginia Mountaineers Sports Coverage
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After the first week of the 2021 fall football camp in West Virginia, we shared a number of thoughts and observations on the baseline state of mountaineers. As fall camp now draws to a close and practice turns to prep for the opener with Maryland, it’s time to wrap up the camp work put in place by Neal Brown’s troops.
First of all, a general observation. Often, teams have an overall appearance – characteristics that combine to give an overall impression. I remember, for example, walking around the field in the early 2000s and looking at a team from Miami and thinking, “They just look different. Indeed, they were.
While no comparison can be drawn between this team and this year’s WVU team, West Virginia has a much better “look” this year. Players have more reach, appear faster, cover court better, and just look deeper and more athletic than teams from the past two years. It remains to be seen if that equates to more wins, but the 2021 mountaineers appear better prepared, more confident and more capable.
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A few position battles still seem to be playing out for starting points, including the right tackle, where Parker Moorer and Wyatt Milum share snaps and reps, a long snapper (JP Hadley and Austin Brinkman) and a placekicker, where Evan Staley , Casey Legg and Tyler Sumpter were locked in a duel.
In the sessions open to reporters, the kickers were very good, with misfires exceeding far and each producing in fabricated pressure situations.
Receiver also has a number of players still asking for time, and this competition has been encouraging as well. Throughout the camp, several pass catchers including Winston Wright, Sam James, Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Sean Ryan, Isaiah Esdale and Kaden Prather were mentioned, and overall their consistency in catching balls was better than a year ago. This is part of the general improvements in the passing game that give hope for greater productivity in this area of offense.
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The assembly of special team units is also continuing, and while less attention is paid to these than to the battle for places on the offensive and defensive teams, they are obviously no less important. After a busy spring and early fall, coaches are now preparing their depth charts for the cover and protection teams.
They also cover all the basics of the practice. For example, at the start of a kickoff period, head coach Neal Brown ordered an unannounced side kick, which was alerted by the home team. A later period then featured a number of such kicks in different areas of the pitch, giving each member of the returning squad a chance to play the ball.
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Give stamina points to injured assistant coach Dontae Young. Despite a hamstring tear after being curled up on the training ground, the second-year Mountaineer coach was back in his usual place, albeit on crutches, in the middle of the field where safeties pass through. a number of their individual exercises.
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West Virginia has a handful of real freshmen and red shirts competing for important roles, and it can be both good and bad. The negatives come with a lack of experience, which can make the game a little hesitant, especially in critical situations, but this can be more than offset by the fact that young people pushing veterans often raise the level of play. whole at this particular position – a signal that recruiting increases the level of talent.
As in many aspects of the game, balance is an important factor – you want new players to push returnees, while the production of veterans also remains important.
WVU appears to be in good shape in that regard, as true freshmen Justin Johnson, Davis Mallinger, Saint McLeod, Wyatt Milum and Kaden Prather all plead for important roles in attack, defense or special teams. The list goes on even longer among freshmen in red shirts, including Austin Brinkman, Sam Brown, Lanell Carr, Caleb Coleman, Sean Martin, Daryl Porter, A’varius Sparrow, James Thomas and Jordan White among those doing case for playing time.
It’s also important to remember that this is not an exhaustive list that will remain intact throughout the season. Players on the recruiting team, or participating in the development program that focuses more on developing strength and skills, can progress and work their way into the competition for playing time throughout the year. .