Morgantown, W.VA. – The day that so many, none more than the Mountaineers themselves, have been been waiting for since March 12 is here. West Virginia’s football team starts fall camp today. Cue the “Simple Gifts,” “Seven Nation Army” and some “Country Roads” from home just to feel those football emotions.
(I digress: Anyone else occasionally imagine Bill Nevin calling out your major and minor accomplishments over the last 4.5 months? Just me? Try it. It helps)
At this point, it goes without saying that fall camp will look entirely different starting today. Head Coach Neal Brown spoke with West Virginia’s John Antonik about the changes to camp that the team and university are implementing in order to keep everyone around the team as safe as they can keep them.
The Mountaineers will be operating in two circles, the Blue Group and the Gold Group, with both groups safely operating congruously around each other. This maximizes the safety of the players and coaches while maximizing the productivity in this new world.
Brown pointed out that the groups were decided by looking at who players spend the most time with off the field, where people live, who is more likely to see each other at their homes, in classes, etc. Brown is nothing if not a man with a plan (and four backup plans) so careful time and thought went into his Blue Group and Gold Group selections.
“Everything is spread out,” Brown said. “The first group will basically come in and get taped, get treatment and eat breakfast. While they are at breakfast we will do our virtual position meeting there with their iPads. That will be like our install meeting.”
“All of our meetings are virtual – team, special teams and position meetings,” Brown explained. “The Gold and Blue Group do the same thing. It’s essentially two-a-days for the coaches. This is really how we’ve been operating since we started the 20-hour rule where you get the six hours of walk-throughs, six hours of position meetings and eight hours of conditioning.”
Monday’s opening day of fall camp will be one with an emphasis on staying healthy, well and safe, while at the same time trying to get ready for a fall 2020 football season that looks more and more up in the air by the hour.