MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Group text can be the beginning of something great.
For the West Virginia University football team, they are hoping it will lead to an explosive season on the gridiron.
With Will Grier at the helm of the offense this season, the Mountaineer wide outs were excited to build relationships with their new teammate.
Former WVU star Kevin White told his younger brother that was the key to success for him and Clint Trickett.
Over the summer, Ka’Raun White, David Sills and all the other Mountaineer wide receivers began working together to form a bond.”
“Really, we’d just have workouts at 9 (a.m.) and go until like 1:30 or 2 (p.m.),” junior David Sills said. “Working out, running routes and just always being together has created a bond. If you saw one of us, then you saw all of us. We were always together working out. Even if it was just getting lunch or something, we were always together. I really think creating that bond between us will put us in a great spot for the fall.”
“After workouts, me or David Sills and a lot of other guys called up everybody, ‘let’s catch jugs, let’s catch tennis balls’ and coach (Tyron) Carrier would watch and make sure we were catching balls,” White added. “And will wanted to have this connection down so he would have us all in a group chat and tell us when to come out to the field and catch some balls. We did that. After a few times, everybody just got used to it and wouldn’t go home after lifting or workouts and would come right to the field.”
That was the beginning of something beautiful.
“The strides that they’ve made from spring to fall camp have been huge,” offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said. “You can tell they’ve been out there working together non stop. And Will takes a lot of pride in this. He gets the whole group out there.”
And that dedication has the WVU receiving corps in a better place than expected.
“They’re going probably three, four times a week just throwing individual routes, throwing pass go and you can tell that the continuity that they’ve got right now that they’ve worked on a lot of that throughout the summer, especially the little things as coaches that you are not expecting them to be that far along and they’re already that way,” Spavital said. “Now, we’re kind of getting a little bored with things or they are because we’re so far advanced so it’s time to start advancing the playbook a little more.”
A month away from battling Virginia Tech, the Mountaineers feel they are where they need to be. They work together and build one another up.
“We are looking pretty good, all of us as a whole,” White said. “We are out there working with each other. If one of us drop a ball we are like ‘alright just get to the next play’ but tell them what they are doing wrong from the sidelines That’s been a big help. For me if I do something wrong, Ricky (Rogers) or David is like ‘you’re too high in your route or something like that so it’s been a great help.”
However, there is still plenty of room for improvement.
“I want to see a winning mindset, route depth, and finishing plays as far as blocking wise,” receivers coach Tyron Carrier said. “I’m big on blocking so more than anything I want to see route depth, actually knowing what you’re doing, and blocking.”
With the first week of camp winding down, Carrier is learning just what his men are made of.
“They are getting to the point where they know how to practice,” he said. “Well they are learning how to practice. The last two days have been the tougher ones as far as pads. We have picked up the volume of reps for the one’s, the two’s and the three’s. It’s picking up. I am learning a little bit about them as far as the mental things. When you get fatigued, your pads get bad; your stance is all horrible. I’ll learn that part about them and now they can see it and now there are some things you can focus on.”
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS