Justice Making Most of Opportunity

Although no player wants to profit from a teammate's injury, Mountaineer offensive lineman Garin Justice is trying to make the most of his opportunity with the first unit.

Garin Justice, who came into camp trying to move up from his second team spot at tackle, is getting that chance due to the absence of Mike Watson, who has missed several days due to an injury. And while the West Virginia native agrees that no one wants to win a job due to another's misfortune, he is battling to secure a starting spot.

"I'm fortunate enough to get to play a little bit with the first team, and whoever does the jobe the best will be the starter. I'm confident in both of our abilities, and I thin we proved last yea that we can play and win ballgames. We'll see how it turns out.

"It's a good feeling to have experience," said the mammoth lineman from Gilbert. "Thre's a good carryover from last year. We know the line calls, and everyone is pretty familiar with each other from having played together last year."

Justice has had to make one adjustment from last season, moving from the right side, where played in place of the injured Tim Brown, to the left side, where he and Watson are expected to battle.

"I'm a natural lefthander, so going back to the stance I played in high school is a little easier," Justice observed. "I practice both, and I need to be ready to play both, but I was fortunate to be back over on the left side. I just want to be make myself ready to paly as many positions as possible."

The switch of sides might appear simple to some fans, but there's a lot more to it that just putting an opposite hand on the ground. Mental adjustments play a big part.

"The obvious thing is that your brain just has to revers," Justice said of keeping the assignments straight. "If you run something to the right, you're the backside guy if you are at left tackle, but you're the frontside guy if you're on the right side. Your stance is different too. It's sort of a like a righthander trying to throw a baseball lefthanded. Everything is just reversed, including your footwork."

That's a lot to keep straight, but Justice appears to have the moves down pat. While the rare mistake may occur, Justice notes that his position coach doesn't allow room for error.

"We don't make many mistakes like that, because Coach Trickett has us pretty well drilled," the affable West Virginian said with a laugh. "He has us aware and ready for every situation we might encounter."

Justice has taken to tht drilling well, and has made himself into a valuable member of an offensive line that is earning national honors in a number of preseason forecasts.

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