King Seeing All of Mountaineer Secondary

After coming so close against one of college football's top powers, every Mountaineer's head is spinning. Thoughts of every play that could have been different constantly run through the player's heads as they think of every conceivable way they could have scored just three more points or held Miami to three fewer. For senior defensive back Brian King, the spin is just a little faster.

King started the first four contests of the season at the cornerback position, but was moved to free safety against the Canes. The Maryland native had little time to prepare for the move, and was quickly thrown into the fire.

"It was a crash course getting thrown in there at free safety," admitted King. "I didn't practice during the off week because of my back (which was injured against Maryland). When I came back on Monday they started teaching me free safety, and on Thursday we were playing on ESPN."

Although King prefers the challenge of the cornerback slot, he is ready to accept the challenge of the new position. The move makes this Mountaineer defense much stronger and Brian certainly understands the reasons for the change.

"I think this works out best for everybody," said King. "I have shown that I can play corner here, and moving to free just makes me more versatile. It allows us to put our best 11 on the field. As much of a cliché as it is, the team always comes first."

The move allowed sophomore defensive back Adam "Pacman" Jones to fill the corner position, and the Georgia native responded quite well. Jones totaled 12 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery Thursday in the Orange Bowl. His spectacular play earned him Big East Defensive Player of the Week honors when the awards were announced on Monday.

"I thought Pacman played great," said King. "We knew what he could do and we had to find a way to get him on the field. He has been that way all season; he just needed an opportunity. We knew he was going to have a great game, and he really shined on Thursday night."

Jones' award winning effort could not have been possible without King's unselfish move. "BK" as he is known to his WVU teammates, adjusted quickly and anybody who was not aware of the move probably would have never known that he was at a new position.

"I was pretty pleased with the way he played in his first stint at free safety," said WVU head coach Rich Rodriguez. "I think he gives us some flexibility coverage wise. It is certainly not our biggest lineup, but it may be our most athletic lineup. We are going to stick with this new look."

King also felt that his performance was a solid one considering the difficult circumstances.

"I felt good back there," explained the athletic coaching major. "I think I played well and I know that my future is at free safety. What this really does is allow us to have three corners on the field at one time. That makes any defense pretty good. The hard part for me at free safety is not being all over my man on every play. It is hard for me to tell myself that I am not going to be involved on every play like I am at corner, but I feel like I can put up solid numbers at free safety week in and week out. If I was able to make 12 tackles a game from the corner spot, than 15-17 should not be a problem at safety."

King believes that his time playing corner will only make him stronger as a safety. When put in a one-on-one situation, King already knows what he can do.

"I know the weaknesses at corner and when they need help," explained number 11. "We don't even have to say anything. We just know each other so well."

King's next test at his new position will come this Saturday as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights make the trip to Morgantown. The Mountaineers have dominated RU over the years, but King promises that Blue and Gold fans will not see a letdown after such a strong performance in Miami.

"I think we might be overconfident if we were 4-1, butt we are 1-4," King explained. "We still have a lot to prove. Coming close only goes so far, what people remember is the record. Getting more Ws is important for this team."

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