WVU Opens Team Camp

West Virginia opened its team camp with a series of base drills as coaches and teams worked to install plays for the opening games on Friday.

Mountaineer assistant coaches were on hand to watch, but it was mostly the high school coaches who initially worked with their players after Thursday's check-in session. Each team was assigned a specific time and room within the Puskar Center in which to strategize, and a WVU assistant was often in the room to answer any questions. The teams will later be matched in a series of games that will culminate with a championship on Saturday evening.

For now, however, the high school athletes were spread onto various fields. The near total completion of the Mountaineer Field turf has allowed the 60,000-seat facility to be utilized, and the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility and the grass practice fields were also used. Teams stated with a basic jogging and stretch period, then advanced through varying plays with skill positions while linemen were separated to prepare for new blocking schemes. Wide receivers and defensive backs worked hand placement and jamming versus getting a solid release off the line. Patterns, quarterback-wideout work and option handoffs and pitches off belly dive fakes also gave the drills a Mountaineer flavor. Footwork was a primary emphasis for the line and skill slots, as both groups went through cone and pad sessions.

Teams then traded areas, those working outside going indoors for film sessions while the others used what they had learned on new drills and alignments. West Virginia does use this camp to recruit from, with players like Coley White, brother of current WVU quarterback Patrick White, in attendance. But it's not as big of a tool as the individual camp, held June 17-20. The staff has already made most of its 2008 offers. The main target, Scout.com top-ranked quarterback – and No. 2 overall player – Terrelle Pryor, a 6-6, 210-pounder with offers from Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Texas, West Virginia and Ohio State, will not attend the camp, as he has chosen to be at the one-day OSU camp on Friday. Pryor, White and J.J. Dorsey (6-1, 185 lbs., 4.6 40) are the quarterbacks offered in the 2008 class.

Of the other uncommitted six four-star-or-better prep recruits with an offer and a medium interest in West Virginia: tight end Kevin Koger (6-4, 225, 4.65) is attending Ohio State's one-day camp on Friday and appears ready to decide between the Buckeyes and Michigan; corner Brandon Harris (5-10, 175, 4.45), who starred at the Miami camp and will be at South Florida's team camp before going to Rutgers; cornerback/running back Jarred Holley (5-11, 165, 4.48), who took over for current Mountaineer Ovid Goulbourne as the featured back in Easton's (Pa.) run-oriented offense, now has 20-plus offers and is narrowing; offensive lineman Jimmy Bennett (6-8, 275), who has great quickness and has yet to allow a sack in two seasons, is apparently awaiting an offer from Notre Dame; corner/wideout Vaughn Carraway (6-2, 170, 4.57) will attend camps at Michigan and Rutgers but does have WVU in his top five; and quickly-rising linebacker MikeYanich (6-2, 219, 4.5), who surprised at the Scout.com combine in Pittsburgh, is gathering more offers daily and will wait to make his decision.

BlueGoldNews.com will have interviews and uopdates with other prospects through the June 23rd end date for camp.

Notes: WVU has added banners to the indoor practice facility walls. Two read "West Virginia Football" and there are four with the flying WV. One in the middle lists the Big East championships in 1993, 2003, 2004 and 2005 with the team's overall and conference record.

Work also continues on the inside of the Puskar Center in the Thomas Room. It is being completely renovated and, as of September, will become a study center. The turf at Mountaineer Field is nearly finished. Only a small section adjacent to the glass walls of the Puskar Center remains to be laid. Work on the north end zone's boxes, however, is not near completion. Both are to be finished by the opening game, Sept. 1 versus Western Michigan.

The Mountaineers will follow the team camp with a 7-on-7 passing camp June 22 and 23. It is for high schools only. The first of two men's basketball team camps also opens June 22. The last individual camp is July 29-Aug. 1.

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