Gibson Assesses Class

WVU defensive backs coach Tony Gibson shares his thoughts on the newcomer class that reported to West Virginia University on Sunday.

Speaking on the MetroNews Statewide Sportsline, Gibson indicated that the staff was happy with the players that reported on Sunday.

"It's a great looking group. We're real happy with the group. Physically they look ready to go. Whether they are mentally ready, that's what we'll find out in practice over the next few days.

"We're happy with the number that came out qualified and eligible. It was a pretty good job of evaluation on our part."

Not overloading the newcomers, who are mostly in for the biggest jump of their playing careers, is a key for Gibson and his fellow coaches.

"Getting them used to the pace of practice is the biggest challenge. We're not going to throw a whole bunch of stuff at them - we'll put in our base offense and defense and see how they handle it.

"The big thing is on Thursday when the varsity comes in and the pace of practice picks up. We don't want to confuse the new players - that's how you lose kids. They start getting homesick and think they're never going to get it.

"So, we put in the base with them the first couple of days, then repeat it when the veterans come in. That way, they get more repetitions and hopefully start to get comfortable."

One other twist the Mountaineer staff is introducing this year is a "Big Brother" program. That's not anything like the cheesy TV show on CBS, though. Instead, it's a plan that will pair up a newcomer with a veteran as a buddy to help ease any rough spots in the transition into college life.

The freshmen hit the field on Monday to begin two a day practices.

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