Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell met with members of the West Virginia media this week as the Mountaineers are in their first official week of fall camp.
In terms of success from the spring to week one of fall camp; Harrell feels the team is on track, if not slightly ahead of schedule.
“I think it terms of installation and an understanding standpoint, we’re kind of way ahead of where you’d expect to be,” Harrell said. “Definitely way ahead of where we were in the spring.”
The coach went on to talk about how the players were self-motivated working through the summer, whether the coaches were present or not. As the fall nears, the offense will work on layering and builidng complexity in order to be ready for game one.
Harrell was asked early on about the quarterback game, whether or not any of the quarterbacks had started to edge out one another in the first few days of practice.
“I would say it’s still really early,” Harrell remarked. “We haven’t even put pads on yet . . . At least when you put shoulder pads on it will start to be a little different. You can really start to see a few things.”
The topic of who will be QB1 come September has been a near constant conversation among West Virginia fans since about a week after the 2021 season ended. With Garrett Greene, Nicco Marchiol and JT Daniels all in the conversation, Harrell and staff hope to gain more insight once pads are on and live snaps are happening.
On keeping with the trend of quarterback conversation, Harrell was briefly asked about his time as a quarterback, which he quickly commented that he personally loved to run the football.
“To win at a really high level, I think at some point you’ve got to be able to run the football,” Harrell said. “As a quarterback, and I’ve played the position, it’s hard to be on every night. I think that being able to run the football can take a little bit of the pressure off.”
Harrell’s overall football mentality is essentially get the best players the ball. Despite his association with the Air Raid offense, Harrell loves to run the ball joking that he’s probably getting kicked out of the Air Raid club after proclaiming his love for the run.
“You’ve got to find a way to get your best playmakers the ball with space,” said Harrell. “I think our offensive line is one of the strongest, so that helps.”
The former Trojans coach came into Morgantown to a relatively settled group of Mountaineers on offiense, with all five starters from last year’s offensive line back for more this season; something that only helps the coach to get the team ready for success. Having a team with that many returning starters helps the new coach on campus to dive in quicker and make sure the team’s success and improvement continue to rise.
”I think it’s a huge luxury,” said Harrell. “I don’t think it really matters what level you’re at, if you want to build a football team you build it from the lines out, on both sides of the ball . . . Teams that win the Super Bowl now, you can say what you want, but they’re probably really dominant up front.”
West Virginia kicks off the 2022 season in Pittsburgh with a Thursday night showdown against the Pitt Panthers.