The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

August 24, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN - Mountaineers’ O-line far from finished product

(Continued)

MORGANTOWN —

It has been written and talked to death since the end of last season, so much so that even as early as the second week of July the players were talking about having had enough of it.

“I stopped listening to (radio talk shows) before spring practice ended and I stopped reading the newspapers long ago,” offensive tackle Matt Timmerman admitted.

If there is a Captain Crunch on this line it is Josh Jenkins, the all-world high schooler out of Parkersburg who was making a name for himself last year until injured. He worked during the offseason to harden his body, losing weight and gaining muscle, and trying to force feed the experience to himself that he missed with last season after his knee gave out.

And Don Barclay, who broke a leg in spring drills, is considered a potential star.

From there, though, offensive line coach Dave Johnson is mixing and matching, trying to find the right people in the right positions while building enough depth for the inevitable injuries that will hit during the year.

It is less a work of art and more a work in progress, so much that there was major shuffling that went on the last week of camp as Joey Madsen was moved into the starting center role while Eric Jobe, who opened camp as the starting center after starting the final five games last year in place of the injured Mike Dent, moved to guard.

Toss Jeff Braun into the mix and you have three men for two spots in the middle, along with Barclay and veteran Selvish Capers.

“I am never happy with depth,” Johnson admitted. “I haven’t been happy with depth in 26 years of coaching. You’ve just got to go with what you can — hopefully find seven or eight guys that you can rotate ’round. I’d love to get seven guys and I’d be ecstatic if I could get eight ready.”

Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations

    Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?

    July 18, 2014

  • WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’

    West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
    He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

    July 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Smallwood puts future in jeopardy

    The last thing West Virginia’s struggling football program needed as twilight was setting on Bastille Day in Morgantown was to have one of its own whisked off to the North Central Regional Jail on a fugitive warrant from another state, especially a player who had figured to play a key role in the resurrection of a program gone bad.

    July 16, 2014

  • WVU player arrested in Delaware case

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood has been arrested by university police and is being held at North Central Regional Jail awaiting extradition on a felony warrant out of Delaware.

    July 15, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads