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
  • ‘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 23, 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.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 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

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 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 22, 2014

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU’s Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

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