MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- In the span of a single week of training camp the two freshmen offensive linemen who were lauded for making the two-deep were described like this by West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen Monday night: "They're starting to spin a little bit. It's catching up to them."
With a week left of camp, which wraps up Aug. 19, Holgorsen said Tyler Orlosky, 6 feet 4, 290 pounds, and Adam Pankey (6-5, 324 pounds) are physically ready but not necessarily mentally ready for the demands of the position.
"Hopefully we don't have to play those guys. You want to redshirt 'O' linemen. Physically they're up to speed. Mentally it's going to take some time. We'll keep repping them. And we won't talk about a redshirt situation here for the next few weeks."
That may go for several freshmen, he said, who during 50-something live snaps at practice Monday ranged from good to terrible.
"Our second-team offense looks terrible. They look awful. That's what we're dealing with on offense where you put the second team in and you have a bunch of true freshmen. They don't need to act like true freshmen, they need to get better. Defensively, it's the same thing, but we're not having to put a bunch of true freshmen in on the offensive side, we're having to put freshmen in on the defensive side, and they need to keep getting better like our second team."
Holgorsen said, in fact, he can think of maybe one offensive lineman in his past 12 seasons coaching who made the stretch from true freshman.
"We'll play true freshmen on the [defensive] line, secondary, some receivers, always played running backs. The O line is the one that's hard," he said. "Probably only had one guy do it in the last two years."
Practice Monday was the fourth of five in camp that are open to media for a 30-minute window. Monday night included live football for the first time. Geno Smith drove his offense for a score, ending an eight-play drive with a 7-yard pass to Tavon Austin. Freshman receiver Jordan Thompson lined up at one of the inside receiver positions and caught a pass.
Holgorsen said the team will continue to do individual drills at practice, but said the team is "at the stage where we can put the ball down and start playing some more." He continued, by saying he expects to learn a lot about the team this final week of training camp.
"I still like their energy, still like their effort, still like their attitude out there," he added. "They can't get caught up in the grind of camp, they have to come in here everyday, watch a whole bunch of film and learn a bunch. We have such a long ways to go before we play that first game, but I continue to like what I see from them from an attitude standpoint. Now we just have to play a bunch of ball."
Several players who Holgorsen alluded to having academic problems last week have apparently straightened things out. At the news conference he looked to the back of the room to confirm with someone on his staff, then said: "I think we're in the clear. It's a miracle. It's the first miracle of the year," he said.
Defensive back Darwin Cook was in a red jersey at practice. He has "been hampered with a groin," said Holgorsen. Cook was walking fairly gingerly on the sideline. Holgorsen said Matt Moro, a senior defensive back, has been hampered by a hamstring. Both players are day to day.
Redshirt freshmen receivers K.J. Meyers and Dante Campbell were mentioned specifically by Holgorsen as two receivers who have caught his eye. "K.J. is playing well. He's doing a good job. Dante Campbell is doing some decent things. Both those guys a year ago were just like the freshmen."wvusports