The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

March 14, 2012

Jenkins’ return causes O-line shuffle

MORGANTOWN — In the end, the greatest offenses — yes, even one devised by Dana Holgorsen — is only as good as its offensive line.

And so it is as spring practice gets under way, the West Virginia University offensive line finds itself under the microscope, not so much because it is being rebuilt, but because there are a number of changes in it, not the least of which is the return of senior Josh Jenkins from an injury redshirt year.

With Jenkins returning at the left guard position that was his before being injured in the Rutgers game in 2010, it frees Jeff Braun to move back to the other side of center Joey Madsen at right guard, which is his third position as a Mountaineer lineman.

He will be flanked by mammoth left tackle Quinton Spain, all 335 pounds of him, who inherits Don Barclay’s spot as he tries to land himself a place in the National Football League.

At right tackle is Pat Eger, but he can expect some competition from 315-pound redshirt freshman Marquis Lucas.

Jenkins, though, is the central focal on the line as he brings experience and something the line really does need — an attitude.

“He brings a new confidence and he brings a little attitude to this line. He always gets on people,” said Braun.

Jenkins, a former All-State player at Parkersburg High, readily admits that he brings an attitude with him, something that is always a positive in the gritty world of the offensive line.

“You have to go at this with a passion,” Jenkins said after his second practice of the spring. “I hate losing, and I want to be the best. I try to see that everyone feels like that.”

That passion made this past year very difficult for Jenkins, rehabilitation being what it is and then the Mountaineers prancing through a 10-win season that included that historic 70-33 Orange Bowl victory that he could only watch.

“First off, I was happy for my teammates, but it’s tough not playing, especially knowing that I could have been out there,” Jenkins said.

All of that made his return this spring that much more of an event.

“I was like a little kid,” Jenkins said. “I didn’t go to bed until 7 a.m. I couldn’t sleep, I was thinking about it so much.”

Spain is also a key to this offensive line, in part because he got a good bit of experience last year.

He had always played left tackle previously, so last year was important for him when he moved to right tackle.

“It took a while to get used to it,” Spain admitted. “But by the end of the season I had it figured out. Now I can play both sides.”

Jenkins is going to be able to help him move into the starting lineup.

“He brings everything to the line. He is a big part of it,” Spain said.

Interestingly, the line believes that the change in the Mountaineer defense this year will benefit it.

How, you ask.

“All we’ve gone against in practice is the 3-3-stack,” Jeff Braun noted. “It’s a defense we don’t see in the games. Now we will be going against the 3-technique and that should help the guards.”

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com. Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • Seider's brother commits to WVU

    West Virginia University’s football team has received a commitment from one of its own.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides much optimism heading into 2014 season

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
    Forsey, a native of Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, was representing Team Canada. She was the first Canadian to cross the finish line in the women’s 5,000-meter run, finishing in ninth place overall in 16:02.55.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

    July 25, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.

    July 25, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.

    July 25, 2014

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