Two a day practices are over for West Virginia University’s Football Team. Classes have started and the regular game week practice routine will begin next week for September 1 opener with Marshall. After two weeks of practice and evaluation head coach Dana Holgorsen released the new two-deep depth chart on Monday.
One of the more intriguing aspects of camp is identifying who the new guys are that will be asked to help out immediately. Over the years WVU coaches have allowed fairly generous access to the media during practices and scrimmages. With many eyes on practices and scrimmages there was plenty of information coming out about who was going to be where on the depth chart.
With technological advances that allow anyone with a cell phone to be a camera man, or have the ability to instantly send out information for all the world to see, football coaches have had to become a bit more guarded about just who they allow to observe practice. Holgorsen is no different in that regard, so media that cover WVU football are limited to the first 30 minutes of access of practice followed by a Q & A with the coach after practice where the media can try to find out what they didn’t see.
It is a little cat and mouse like, but a prudent play on the part of the coach. Astute members of the media are still going to have a read on most situations developing with the team, but they will be left in the dark more than they used to be. In the dark in this case means several things.
Holgorsen does not conduct full-scale scrimmages like his predecessors. They scrimmage, but it is believed it may be 20 plays some days and possibly 50 on other days, or any number you want to guess. The thing is the media can’t see it, so we don’t know what happened. The result is that the media will see who is running with the first, second and third teams, but will have no first hand visual evidence to determine why one player is on the first team and another is not.
Last week Holgorsen did allow the media access to part of a scrimmage. Guess what? The offense drove down the field in seven plays and scored. We already suspected that the offense would be good and the defense would need some time.
When we see true freshman Jordan Thompson make it into the lineup, what does that mean? Well, as a January enrollee, Thompson raised plenty of eyebrows in the spring game so we know he can play. Without eyes on practice, it is hard to tell for certain why freshmen K.J. Myers and Cody Clay are on the two deep and former starter Ivan McCartney is not.
On defense we see several freshmen on the depth chart, but just free safety Karl Joseph as a starter. It should be noted that many of the freshmen on both sides of the ball appearing on the depth chart are true freshmen. Just saying, this could be a bad sign in some spots.