MORGANTOWN W.Va- Just over halfway through Neal Brown’s first season in Morgantown, he continues to build up his youthful Mountaineer team that includes first-year players all across the depth chart.
Despite the inexperience in 2019, coach Brown says he is done using the ‘F’ word.
Freshman, that is.
“I think it’s a built-in excuse for our kids, our staff and for myself,” said Brown. We’re a no-excuse operation. It is what it is. We play a lot of young people. Here’s the deal: we’ve played seven games now, and we’re not using that word anymore. They all have five-plus games of experience. It’s time.”
Just at the receiving core alone, Brown referenced the amount of promising ‘first-time playing’ receivers on this team in Sam James, Bryce Wheaton, Winston Wright and Ali Jennings all as players who he has seen significant growth in this season.
Brown said that getting these players opportunities so early will put the offense in a great spot moving forward.
“Offensively, I think the future is really bright for us. We’ve got a lot of people who are playing for the first time, but I think there’s a lot of hope,” said Brown.
Even with the long list of ‘first-time players’ receiving playing time this season, Brown added to that list Monday when he announced that running back Tony Mathis and linebacker Jared Bartlett will have an opportunity to make an impact at some point this season and will travel for the first time to Baylor for Thursday nights game.
With such a young team building up depth will take time, and Brown is only worried about one thing right now, and that’s getting better as a team.
“I’m not spending a large amount of time on what Baylor is doing on offense, defense and special teams,” said Brown. I think for our football team, we just have to get better. Really since we left halftime at Missouri all the way to halftime at OU, we were making positive strides.”
Because of the strong core of young talent on offense, Brown said he believes the next two recruiting classes are going to be critical for the defensive side of the ball, as he works to build depth from the bottom up, without using the “F” word.