“Chemistry”: A word fairly common in the science world, but also a word used in the sports world to describe a bond formed among teammates.
In this case, it’s the latter of the two options, and it deals with the strong, positive chemistry that has molded the West Virginia football team into one closely bonded squad for the 2014 season.
With WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen returning 55 players from the 2013 season, the comfort level from freshmen through seniors is top-notch, according to many players and coaches.
Holgorsen said during a fall camp press conference that he’s been able to see a new level of commitment and a new comfort level out of all of his players early on, which gives him high hopes as the season opener on Aug. 30 approaches.
“The chemistry and the continuity right now is better than it’s been since I’ve been here,” Holgorsen said. “The commitment level from our guys, I thought, was as high as it’s been since I’ve been here for sure.”
Not wasting any time to demonstrate the passion Holgorsen sees from nose tackles to punt returners to players who may be redshirted this season, he said the relationships that have formed early on will become even more beneficial once the actual season is underway.
Having his players be on the same page before the season even begins is huge, Holgorsen said. But perhaps even more important is the chemistry that has formed among the entire 10-man coaching staff – three of whom are new to the Mountaineer staff.
“There is a comfort level that exists right now that I’m very pleased with,” he said. “Our coaching staff has a great relationship with each other. The chemistry with our coaching staff – I couldn’t be more pleased with.”
Having the players and coaches staying motivated just by being around each other is something remarkable – but also something that has made many players and coaches even more motivated for success this season, said redshirt senior starting quarterback Clint Trickett.
“Going into last year, we didn’t have a lot of guys who played in Big 12 games,” Trickett said. “Then this year, almost everyone has.
“It’s a good thing to have – everyone is more confident in themselves, everyone is more confident in knowing what they can do – they’re hungry, and so am I.”
“Hunger”: A common word heard throughout the Mountaineer locker room from the 50-plus returners who experienced the debacle of last year’s 4-8 season, which has moved Holgorsen to make a bold claim about his team and its motivation for this season.
“Our team feels like we’re better at every position – you can make an argument that we are,” he said. “We have worked diligently to get ourselves in position and show improvement.”
Not only has Holgorsen instilled more confidence in this team than in previous seasons, but he’s already setting the expectations to go even higher next year with the rising juniors currently in his program.
“The junior class is the one that’s the biggie,” he said. “There are 27-28 guys there that have played and are going on their third year now.”