The Mountaineers have started Spring practice and it was the first time Coach Neal Brown was able to see his new team live. While it wasn’t a full contact day, he came away impressed and gave a glowing report of the younger guys.
Quote from WV Gazette-Mail
“You’re seeing guys, and I’ll give you an example, these redshirt freshmen,” Brown said. “Take the receivers for example — guys like Sam Jones, Bryce Wheaton — I saw them a little bit last year when they would scrimmage on Thursday, just watching a little bit of tape to get a feel for who they are. Then seeing how much better they look today — more confident — and just watching guys who haven’t been in a role moving up. That’s the fun part for me. There have been so many things that go into this transition, so you get to practice today and you go, ‘Oh yeah, this is why I’m here.’ ”
But Brown also has a QB battle to sort out for the first time in a few years at West Virginia. Jack Allison, Trey Lowe and grad transfer Austin Kendall will all be competing for the starting role. Kendall sat behind two Heisman Trophy winners at Oklahoma. There isn’t a lot known yet about the former Sooner but he has been in a winning system with top end talent. Trey Lowe is another solid option for the long haul. Lowe got some action in the bowl game against Syracuse but was also able to take advantage of the new redshirt rule will have four years of eligibility.
Coach Brown has already said he will be rotating all three and making sure everyone gets their reps. With Will Grier off to the NFL, it will be a fresh start with new quarterbacks in a new system.
This could be the fresh start that West Virginia needs. Dana Holgorsen was a solid coach who experienced plenty of success in Morgantown. But with him off to Houston it can give West Virginia new life. With the arrival of Coach Brown comes a new system, new recruiting strategy and new life. An early impression from his interviews shows how happy Coach Brown is to be at West Virginia. There is a lot of positivity and forward thinking but even more so his excitement and willingness to coach.
West Virginia will likely have some struggles along the way in Neal Brown’s first season. This much turnover and loss of talent is tough to overcome. But West Virginia also struggled to land some marquee talent during the Holgorsen era. Neal Brown could be the change needed to jump start West Virginia and entice recruits to sign on. Year one may not be a great but give it time and Coach Brown could have a real contender soon.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.