The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

April 13, 2011

HERTZEL COLUMN - WVU center moves on with help of beard

MORGANTOWN — There’s more of a new look with West Virginia University’s football team this spring than just Dana Holgorsen’s offense and seven different starters on defense.

The new look belongs to Joey Madsen.

The Mountaineers’ incumbent center showed up looking more the Mountaineer mascot than Brock Burwell himself, wearing a full, bushy beard that could hide a full-grown lion from the view of any passing prey.

“I’m trying to be a whole new me,” Madsen said. “That’s what the beard is about.”

There are some Mountaineer faithful who believe he should wear a disguise, for he was one of three players who missed last season’s Champs Sports Bowl loss to North Carolina State due to academic indifference.

While his team was in Charlotte, playing the game, Madsen was back home in Ohio with his family.

“The day of the game was the roughest day of my life. I watched the first series and I couldn’t stomach any more,” he said. “I turned it off. I couldn’t do it. I sat there, me and my mom, and talked the whole time.”

You can only imagine the feeling, and Madsen understands that there is some animosity toward him over his academic failure.

“It was a motivational thing,” he said. “I had some things going on.”

He left it at that, but admits it was a lesson for him.

“You learn that you have to support your team. It’s not about me,” he said. “My dad really helped me out with it. He told me you’re not the first one; you’re not the last one. Just move on.”

And part of moving on is the beard.

Madsen, despite his academic gaffe this winter, remains the heart and soul of the offensive line, one that eagerly awaits the new season to make amends for what really was a disappointing 2010 season. The changes in the offense, Madsen believes, will go a long way toward helping them heal those wounds.

It isn’t really the techniques that have changed, for blocking is blocking. It’s more in the approach.

“The only thing that changed is probably just the calls,” Madsen said. “It’s just so much quicker than what we did. There’s not 100 different calls. There’s just one call, get down and go. It’s more physical. We don’t think as much; we just go.”

You will never hear a lineman complain about having thinking cut back in favor of getting into action, and Holgorsen’s offense is all about action, even in the offensive line.

What’s more, those fears of having to learn a whole new system proved to be unfounded.

“We put the whole offense in in three days,” Madsen said. “I know everything, every call.”

The action starts with Madsen, not even with the quarterback, for they operate on a silent count.

“It’s on me the whole time,” Madsen said.

Madsen says everyone on the line is in love with the offense.

“It has uncomplicated things,” he said, inferring that Jeff

Mullen’s offense was slowed down by too many calls, too many reads. “It’s awesome. I love it. It’s way, way quicker, less thinking and more physicality.

“You don’t have to go through that process of, ‘Who do I got?’ It’s just come off the ball and whoever gets there gets there. We’re a quick team. We get on the ball and keep driving.”

The fast tempo puts the offense on the attack and has the defense on its heels.

It was something the Mountaineers did last year on occasion, the most notable being when they roared from behind on their final two possessions against Marshall.

“You saw last year the tempo killed teams. In the fourth quarter against Marshall, we just went tempo the whole time and just scored touchdowns,” Madsen said.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Gold-Blue Game answers few questions at quarterback

    Dana Holgorsen finds himself in a quarterback quandary.
    He’s looking to have one quarterback and has five of them as spring practice ends, and nothing about the spring session has done anything to straighten out the situation.

    April 13, 2014

  • Moore ‘back at home’ under center

    There are a couple of ways to look at what Logan Moore did this spring after being moved back to quarterback and given a chance to compete for what is a wide open job, as wide open at the end of the spring as it was coming in.
    The first is to say that he didn’t wow Dana Holgorsen to the point that he’s willing to say he’s the leader going into summer drills, but that would be shortsighted considering from where Moore came.

    April 13, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU punter turns heads at linebacker

    They call him “Huey the Punter.”
    His real name is Houstin Syvertson. His real position is not punter. Not anymore, anyway.
    To be honest, until Saturday’s spring game, not many people following West Virginia football knew the name or the nickname. They know it now.

    April 13, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos