News And Notes From West Virginia's Seventh Practice

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia held its seventh practice of the spring Tuesday during a rather wet session in the afternoon.

The Mountaineers, who are still working the basics in continuing to develop both expected starters and depth, began the drills with their prototypical turnover circuit. That included strip work, recovery drills and a tackling session in which the initial defender secured the stop while the second worked on forcing the fumble. All three levels of the defense went through a rotation on the drills, while the offense worked ball security on the flip side.

The quarterbacks, meanwhile, threw into netting and practiced footwork, accuracy and the like. Overseen by Jake SpavitalWill Grier seemed especially comfortable throwing a wet ball, at one point nailing the middle of the net, then noting that was a "wet ball with no laces" concerning the grip. While the Mountaineers didn't work any full team snaps until the media time had expired, there were glimpses of special teams work, an Oklahoma drill that was surrounded by a full circle of players and the individual position groups early.

Of note, head coach Dana Holgorsen announced that Jacob Buccigrossi, who was working as the reserve center behind Matt Jones, tore an ACL and will be out for the season. Receiver Marcus Simms has a concussion and did not practice, while fellow wideout Ka'Raun White was still running laps around the field, but showed a bit a favoring toward his still-healing right leg, which he broke in the first half against Iowa State. 

Other Notes

  • Where West Virginia's snaps were off in its initial session, they were better during the field goal portions seen below. Part of that is WVU working multiple players at the position, with Kyle Poland and Rex Sunahara, while incumbent Nick Meadows appears solid in trying to replace John DePalma.
  • Head coach Dana Holgorsen mentioned players he would no longer discuss in terms of updates, as it likely would not change because of academics or injuries, in Adam Shuler, Jeffery Pooler, Dravon Askew-Henry, Ka’Raun White, Steven Smothers, Yodny Cajuste and Dontae Angus. "No sense in talking about any of those guys," Holgorsen said. "Those guys don’t do anything for our football team."
  • Former players Tyler Orlosky, Quinton Spain and Shaq Petteway took in the practice. 
  • New cornerbacks coach Doug Belk seems to have acclimated well, and shows enthusiasm and little hesitation when giving instructions. He was working along side Tyron Carrier and Tony Gibson in one fit-up drill session as the two sides of the ball were working alignments and technique. 
  • Jonn Young struggled at times in the field goal session, pushing a couple kicks far right. Mike Molina, the expected starter, could use a push from the reserves, but might not get that during the spring practices. Of now, Young is expected to handle the kickoff duties while also battling Billy Kinney for the starting punter position.
  • WVU's practice showed excellent energy, and the Mountaineers are still piping in music and creating as many reps as possible for all position groups in an effort to max the drills. It's been among the trademarks of Holgorsen, whose sessions move faster than most other coaches.
  • Watch for line coach Joe Wickline, far right, in the video below as he corrects alignment pre-snap dring the field goal session.
  • The Mountaineers will hold two more practices this week, on Thurs. March 30 and Sat. April 1. Those will surround the Pro Day, held Fri, March 31. 


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