During the Big 12 media days, WVU football head coach Neal Brown was the third coach to step up to the podium at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX, on Wednesday afternoon.
Of course, after a few first-class thank you’s and shoutouts, Brown talked about the progress his team has made this off-season and what there’s to expect from the Mountaineers in 2021.
The last month for Brown and his coaching staff has been nothing but exceptional. The staff has received many commitments from the class of 2022, including two 4-star players in Nicco Marchiol and Jacolby Spells. The football program has also implemented some workout investments such as: “The WVU Seeker.”
“We’re making progress. If you think about it, off the field, we just finished up $55 million worth program enhancements, that’s really had a positive effect,” Brown said. “We’ve gained a lot of momentum in recruiting right now.”
Brown commented a little bit on both sides of the ball.
“The start on defense, I thought we had one of the best defensive units in the Big 12 conference last year and nationally are statistics back that up,” Brown said. “That’s going to be the unit with the most experience, that’s going to be the unit that will lead us again.”
“Offensively, we made growth,” Brown said. “We struggled, didn’t play very well the last two games of the season. I think that skewed the stats but for the first time we have experience on that side of the ball, especially up front.”
Quarterback Jarret Doege was named the most improved player in the spring by Brown and it seems like Doege will take a step up in productivity this season.
“Two things with Jarret [Doege] in the spring is pocket awareness and pocket movement,” Brown said. “The second thing was really accuracy on the deep ball and that’s something that we’ve got—as an offense—to be more explosive.”
Coach Brown was asked about the non-conference games to start the season when West Virginia travels to Maryland and then hosts Virginia Tech two weeks later. Brown’s statement on playing these regional teams can be summed up into three words:
“Regional rivals’ matter,” Brown said.
On July 1, the landscape of the NCAA changed all in one day when the student athletes finally were allowed to use their name, image and likeness to make a profit. Brown commented on the change in the landscape of the NCAA. Brown is a fan of it but realizes there are more important things than worrying about the NIL.
”The two main priorities that our players have right now are academics and football and you’ve got to maintain those,” Brown said. “Now, I think they can continue within the right structure, they can maintain those priorities and still profit off of name, image and likeness.”
Brown finished his press conference with the Big 12 media by addressing where he thinks the state of the program is at right now.
“We’ve got to continue to grow, and I think we are,” Brown said. “I think it’s culture, it’s talent, all those things got to continue to improve.”
(Top Photo: Ben Queen)