West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgorsen Details Spring Plans

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - West Virginia head football coach Dana Holgorsen laid out plans for spring football practice and the new structure of his coaching staff prior to the start of on-field sessions

WVU's spring practice schedule will, both in deference to NCAA concerns over time demands and the interest of keeping players fresh, will be a little less crowded than in recent years.

"Player time is incredibly important," Holgorsen said West Virginia's pre-spring media event. "So, we've made the decision to keep everything here [in Morgantown] this spring, and also to give the players two days off on Friday and either Saturday or Sunday. We are trying to give them as much player time as we can. We're allowed 20 hours a week and won't even hit that."

Coaching changes have dominated off-season news, and Holgorsen detailed changes on the staff, including recruiting areas and updated responsibilities for each.

Jake Sapvital: "We've been in a lot of meetings the last four or five weeks. We have to understand what our strengths are and figure out what our identity will be. I think offensively we may have the capability to go in. He will recruit in New Jersey."

Joe Wickline: "He's like a kid in the candy store," taking over the offensive line. He'll continue to focus on junior colleges across the country.

Tyron Carrier: "We don't have major south recruiting areas. We will continue to recruit in Texas and Florida, and he'll do a lot of work there while staying with the wide receivers."

Tony Dews: "I've had a great time getting to know him. He's excited about expanding his role and coaching the running backs. He'll recruit in Virginia and Maryland. That's one area that has been neglected a little bit the past couple of years and that will change. He'll also get into Florida."

Tony Gibson: "He's the most tenured coach on the staff now. He'll recruit West Virginia."

Bruce Tall will recruit in Ohio and North Carolina, while Matt Caponi will continue in Western Pennsylvania. Both will also continue with the same on-field duties as last year.

Doug Belk: "He's an interesting young man. He's really sharp, and we are excited to have him here to coach the corners. He's going to get into Georgia and we hope make a difference for us there."

Mark Scott: "Mark will transition a little onto the defensive side of the ball. He will still work with the specialists, but will work with the linebackers some and move more into that role. 

That leaves the special teams coordination open, and Holgorsen said WVU will move in a different direction for. He said he will oversee all special teams, but the defensive staff will handle the kickoff, punt return, field goal block and onside kicks. The offensive staff will handle punts, kickoff return, placekicks and the 'hands team'.

NOTES

WVU has entered the world of analysts, and will add two to the staff this year. The first is Dan Gerberry, who was formerly at WVU as a GA handling tight ends and fullbacks. The second may not be named until later this summer.

Yodny Cajuste, Ka'Raun White, Brendan Ferns and Dravon Askew-Henry are "doing good and will be part of spring football," according to Holgorsen. He noted that their availability for full duty in the spring is still a day-to-day issue, but that all will be on the field.

As is typical during spring, there will be other moves to see how players react or perform at different spots. Two moves that are expected to be made are defensive linemen Chase Behrndt and Alec Shriner to the offensive line.They could move back if recruits and youngsters don't respond as hoped, but for now both figure to see time on the offensive line. Xavier Pegues, long the rumor of transfer or departure whisperings, is "back and healthy" according to Holgorsen.

"It's the right time," to step away from playcalling Holgorsen said of Spavital's hiring for those duties, along with the increased CEO responsibilities of the head coaching spot. "I don't look the same as I did six years ago."


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