Camp Holgs: Competition heating up on Day Four
Published: Monday, August 6, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 6, 2012 21:08
After four practices for the West Virginia football team, the resonating message from head coach Dana Holgorsen’s post-practice press conference Monday was that – although he likes what he sees – there is still a long way to go before WVU’s season opener against Marshall Sept. 1.
“I guess the simplest way to put it is we’ve got 25 more (practices),” Holgorsen said. “And we’re probably going to have to use every one of them to get ready to play this first game.”
The fourth day of practice also marked the end of the acclimation period instituted by the NCAA that deems full pads are prohibited until at least the fifth day of fall camp. But although the Mountaineers sported only helmets and shoulder pads during their late afternoon practice, there was no shortage of either contact or intensity on the WVU practice field.
Multiple skirmishes broke out across the field in the 30 minutes that members of the media were allowed in the practice, just one of many signs of the fierce intensity that’s already infused WVU’s fall camp. One-on-one and coverage drills sparked some of the feuds which seemed to consistent mainly between the receivers and the secondary.
“We’re not fighting because we hate each other,” Holgorsen said. “We’re fighting because of the aggressive nature of what these kids are like. We had more fights than I would like today, but there’s some people across the country that would like to trade places with me because they can’t get their guys to fight. That’s just intensity and competing – if it starts hurting the drill that’s when I say something about it.”
Holgorsen also reported that although it’s certainly too early to tell for sure, he’d really like to play a lot of freshman in 2012. Basically, if Holgorsen thinks they can contribute in any way to the team, he’s going to find a spot for them to play and said it was a “given” that no less than 10 freshmen would see action during WVU’s Big 12 inauguration this fall.
The most notable at this point being Jordan Thompson, whom Holgorsen deemed a “true freshman that will play.”
Coincidentally, at least a pair of other players’ eligibility futures were at least somewhat in doubt Monday evening as Holgorsen reported that a couple of players, who were not named, were facing some potential trouble with summer grades and meeting eligibility requirements by the end of the summer term on Aug. 10. Holgorsen again repeated that it was a bit too early to be sure, but also didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to point out that he demands more academically from his players.
“There are a couple of them that we’re concerned about,” Holgorsen said. “It’s their own fault because they could have finished this up earlier in the summer, and they didn’t. I’m not going to tell you who they are, but it’s affecting their reps I can tell you that.”
Aside from the few noted exceptions though, Holgorsen said that he was pleased overall with the attitude and mentality of his team right now. And although many of WVU’s fans are already looking ahead to the potentially volatile matchups of high-octane offenses in Big 12 Conference play, Holgorsen was adamant that the next few weeks would be more about evaluating their own starting lineups than preparing for any future opponents.
“We’re not worried about them right now,” he said. “That’s kind of been the common theme for camp. We’re worried about us and trying to get better at the things we’re doing, and try to figure out who are going to be the guys that play, then the closer you get to a game the more you start worrying about them.”
“We’re trying to develop some leaders just like everybody across the country. We probably have a few more on offense than we do on defense, but the defense is playing like they have a chip on their shoulder and to me they’re flying around and playing hard. The longer we’re out there, and the more we play, the more we’ll be able to develop.
“There are just so many snaps left that there are going to be a lot of things that transpire.”