Sidney Glover has definitely been productive during his Mountaineer career. He recorded 61 tackles as a sophomore and another 60 last year, but a series of nagging injuries have limited his time on the practice field as well as causing missed game time. The curse extended through this year's fall camp, in which he battled a hamstring issue, but he hopes all of that is now behind him.
"We're looking at [the season] as a bunch of seniors who want to go out the right way," said Glover. "Nothing is going to be handed to us whether we're favorites or not so we try to go out everyday and work and prepare to win like we're underdogs."
After seeing limited playing time as a freshman, Glover's luck took a turn for the worse at the end of his sophomore season when he sprained his knee in the Mountaineers' final regular season game of the season. That caused him to miss West Virginia's win over North Carolina in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. His rehab for that injury carried over into his junior season causing him to miss fall camp and WVU's season opener against Liberty, which put a damper on the start of the season. He quickly bounced back, however, and when he was finally cleared to play, he was able to dive in without missing a beat. He was the team's seventh leading tackler in 2009 and finished the year with 60 stops. Glover admits that he had many obstacles to overcome as a junior.
"I just think last year when I was only a junior and switching to the bandit safety that maybe my coaches really wanted to push me and make sure I got enough reps for that position," said Glover. "I think this year, they have a little more trust in me, a little more than last year. I think they want to make sure I handle this all right, that I handle my injuries and get to play all game."
After overcoming his knee rehab, the health issues weren't over. A shoulder problem nagged him from the mid-point of the season on, and while it didn't cause any more game absences, it was another obstacle he had to overcome.
During spring practice leading up to his senior season, Glover seemed to be in the best health that he had seen for quite some time and it showed with his performance on the field.
"[Missing practices] just really showed me how I need to be practicing to be playing and getting better," said Glover. "The days I am practicing I am really just working on my craft. I got so much better in the spring and even in practices that I did during this camp. I can't go back but I wish I would have had those days to practice last year."
As noted, however, the travails weren't over. At the beginning of fall camp, Glover suffered a hamstring injury that that caused him to miss "six or seven" of the team's practices. Glover was all too familiar with the process of trying to absorb as much in practice as he could while not being physically active with his teammates.
"I try to just stay in shape and make sure I'm still conditioning," said Glover. "I work on my feet work. I just really take mental reps and make sure I'm in tune to what we're doing and what changes they're making. I'm still listening to my coach and how he's coaching other players. I make sure I'm still in tune with that and that I don't make those mistakes when I'm back at practice."
Glover assures that despite missing so many important practices during fall camp he was able to get right back into the grove when he was finally cleared to rejoin practice with the team.
"It doesn't really make me feel that far behind," said Glover. "Maybe something like my footwork [gets behind], like making sure that I don't step too far out. As far as our scheme and what we're doing, I don't miss a beat with that."
While he may not be feeling 100 percent, Glove is anxious to make up for lost time as he prepares for his final season with the Mountaineers.
"I'm feeling good," said Glover. "My hamstring was a little tight probably about two weeks ago. As camp has went on, we have prepared for this first game. The coaches have been doing everything they can to make sure that I'm ready. It's going to be a long twelve game season so they're helping me every way they can to make sure I'm ready to play in all these games."
A healthy Glover, teamed with rising star Terence Garvin, gives West Virginia a big-hitting pair of defenders on the second level of the defense. If he can manage to stay relatively healthy through the 2010 season, the goals of the senior class could well be within reach.