Monday, July 24, 2017

WVU football notebook: summer workouts, injuries and cooking with the Whites

Rasul Douglas (13) talks with Kyzir White (8) during WVU's loss to Miami in the Camping World Bowl. (Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Rasul Douglas (13) talks with Kyzir White (8) during WVU’s loss to Miami in the Camping World Bowl.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Injuries come with the territory when it comes to football and heading into West Virginia University’s summer workouts, the question of who is healthy and who is not is always pondered.

After suffering a hand injury last season that sidelined Kyzir White for one game, the senior safety is ready to get back on the field.

“It feels great, 100 percent,” he said.

Another White that is recovering from an injury is Kyzir’s brother Ka’Raun, who suffered a season-ending broken leg last year. Like his brother, Ka’Raun is on the mend.

“Ka’Raun is definitely progressing very well,” junior wide receiver Gary Jennings said.

Cooking with the Whites

Have you ever wondered which of the three White brothers is the master of the kitchen? Well, wait no longer. According to Kyzir, Ka’Raun is a pretty good cook. The senior wide receiver’s specialty is Spanish dishes.

Beefin’ up

Justin Crawford (25) runs past defenders during the Gold-Blue Spring Game. (Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Justin Crawford (25) runs past defenders during the Gold-Blue Spring Game.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Justin Crawford has spent much of the offseason working on getting, bigger stronger and faster. The senior running back has picked up four pounds and feels he is bettering himself for the upcoming season.

Will Grier

Earlier in the week, it was announced that quarterback Will Grier is eligible to play during the Mountaineers’ season opener against Virginia Tech. That was news that excites both fans and players.

“It’s special,” Crawford said. “He’s a special person. He’s a cool dude. He’s somebody that I like to be around. He’s somebody that I’d like to know for a long time.

Grier and his wide receivers have spent the summer working out together and running patterns.

“That’s a part of us meshing together and making sure we’re all on the same page all the time,” Jennings said. “Every chance we get we’re working with the quarterbacks and trying to get the timing down.”

Offensive line

One position that lost a lot of crucial components after last season was the offensive line. Tyler Orlosky Adam Pankey, Marcell Lazard and Tony Matteo departed. Yodny Cajuste is recovering from an ACL tear.

That leaves a lot of voids to fill but so far things are on the up for Joe Wickline’s crew.

“I didn’t think we could easily replace Adam Pankey, Toney Matteo, Marcell Lazard, Tyler Orlosky, all those guys,” senior Kyle Bosch said. “It’s pretty hard to replace all those special guys. And Matt Jones, Colton (McKivitz) are continuing to develop. Yodny is coming in and getting his head back in the game. Josh Sills coming back into. Grant (Lingafelter) is really embracing that senior leadership role and really getting to a point where he can be comfortable with that. And I think we are going to be a much better line than anticipated when I said goodbye to Tyler Orlosky and all those guys last year.”

Currently, the older guys and the newcomers are building relationships with each other.

“We’re building that camaraderie, getting older guys to bring young guys along,” McKivitz said. “We’re a little low on tackles but it’s our job to get the younger guys up and going. It’s kind of like what Marcell (Lazard) did with me and some of the other guys, it’s our role to get those guys confident and work pretty hard to get stronger, faster, and all the things you prepare for upcoming camp.”

Summer Fun
Elijah Wellman (28) receives  the Iron Mountaineer Award from Dan Holgorsen before the Gold-Blue Spring Game.  (Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Elijah Wellman (28) receives the Iron Mountaineer Award from Dan Holgorsen before the Gold-Blue Spring Game.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

While summer is fun for most, it can be grueling for a college athlete. However, the WVU football team has learned to embrace their summer workouts.

“Embracing the grind, senior fullback Elijah Wellman said. “That is what we say around here. Embrace it and make it fun. It’s not going to be a good time if you are dreading the work. It makes everything better when you are coming in, getting the work done and enjoying it with your teammates.”
Summer workouts can be draining but it separates the men from the boys.
“It shows you the fight. It shows you the competitiveness that some guys have and you start to learn more about guys than you can get from just running the drill over here,” senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton said. “You see who is going to fight, who is going to put it all on the line for their team and who wants to compete. I have learned a lot about my teammates, I feel like they have learned a lot about me. We can keep going from here.”
The important thing is to learn from the task at hand.
“I learned that you have to take care of your body,” senior cornerback Elijah Battle said. “Do everything that you need to do to get your body back right for the next day so you’re able to train hard.”
What seemed easy one day can be painful the next.
“Some days the running is tough,” Battle added. “Some days the lifting is tough. It’s all tough.”

 

 

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