The media met with Dana Holgerson for a press conference in the new football facility team room Thursday afternoon. Holgerson began his interview talking about the importance of the new team room for recruiting, and he followed with other major topics of discussion including recruiting and incoming players. He then opened the floor to allow interviews with other coaches and some players.
Quarterback Skyler Howard believes that the new team room enhances his experience by making it a lot easier to come in when you are tired after a workout. “The team loves it. We have our family meetings in here which really allows us to get up there one by one if we have an issue or something and really be like all eyes on that one person.”
The team room really seems to have a positive impact on Skyler, “I really enjoy it, it’s really like we are a family.”
With the incoming freshmen on everyone’s mind, Howard was asked about his experience during his University visits and camps out of high school. “I went to a few camps… The two that I went to were Baylor and SMU. It was a great experience. I wouldn’t say (I got) exposure because I was a very underrated; nobody even knew who I was going into those camps.”
He went on to tell a story about his time at the Baylor camp, “Me and Seth Russel, from Baylor, we got paired up. I’m sure he didn’t know who I was, but he will this year.”
Skyler Howard then took time to talk about preparation for the season. He feels now with some experience under his belt and that of the whole team, they feel ahead as a unit. “I feel, not only me as an individual… but as a team, we are doing things that we weren’t even thinking about doing this point on our own.” He feels that when they go out there by themselves and do 7-on-7’s, they are seeing things for themselves. “We are experiencing a little bit more, and it’s just going to get better when the coaches come in.”
The experience, he believes, has put the team in a different playing field mentally. “We are able to talk about things that wasn’t in the picture last year. Talk about defense a little more, when you see this go to this…”
Some still wonder about the starting job at quarterback. Howard says, “That’s not really in my mind anymore… I’m focused on winning a Big 12 Championship, not the starting job.”
He also believes, “Doesn’t matter where I am on the depth chart really. I prepare like I am the number one guy even if I am the last guy. Just so happens I am the number one guy. I don’t change anything, I prepare like always.”
Skyler Howard also spent time discussing some things he has been working on since spring drills, such as his footwork. He also mentioned getting in the film room to start breaking down defenses, and getting bigger, faster and stronger. The final thing he discussed about working on personally, was his drop. “I have kind of closed it off a little bit. I am opening that so I can see the whole field more.”
He also talked about things the team has been working on such as communication between new and returning players. “We make sure they are on the same page and coaching them up. If I see something that maybe the other receivers are doing… maybe we can get on the same page.”
“I will just pull them aside and say, hey you might want to look at this or they might even do that to me and say, hey watch this and we will check it out and experience it a little bit.”
Howard has not only been working hard on the field and in the team room, but in the classroom as well. “Finishing up my degree has really been my focus towards the end of May.”
The NCAA put in place a three week period where everything is dead. After that time, WVU will hold a few more camps at the end of July, before they begin working with the current players August 1st.
A glimpse of the new facility at Milan Puskar Stadium:
Photos courtesy of Blue Gold Sports Photographer Kelsie VanderWijst