Fighting spirit erupts at WVU camp

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Things got a little physical on day four of preseason football at West Virginia Monday when a few fights broke out during drills.

That's a welcome sign, said coach Dana Holgorsen, intensity he's sure other coaches would kill for.

A few minor skirmishes erupted during the 30-minute period open to the media at the start of practice.

More followed, said Holgorsen, in a post-practice news conference.

"We're not fighting because we hate each other. We're fighting because it's the aggressive nature of what these kids are like," he said.

"We had more fights than I would've like today. But there are people across the country that would like to trade places with me because they can't get their guys to fight.

"That's just intensity and competing. ... If it starts hurting a drill, that's when I say something about it."

He mentioned at least one more fight later in practice that disrupted a drill.

"So I had to get involved, calm everyone down, and try to make a few throw up and continue the drill," he said.

Holgorsen said he likes the mentality of his team so far this preseason, and noted that is particularly good because the practice field is loaded with about 30 freshmen.

He said nearly every position has three-deep or four-deep reps.

"We're trying to develop some leaders just like everyone across the country is trying to develop some leaders," he said. "The defense is playing like they've got a little chip on their shoulder."

Freshman finds

Holgorsen said two freshman offensive linemen are in the two-deep right now -- Tyler Orlosky, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound player from Cleveland, and Adam Pankey (6-5, 324) of Hamilton, Ohio. "I've never had two freshmen run second string," he said.

Freshman wide receiver Jordan Thompson, nicknamed "Squirt" is also continuing to impress. "That guy, he's something," Holgorsen said. "He'll play obviously."

He also said freshman receivers Devonte Robinson (6-1, 170), Devonte Mathis (6-2, 210), Will Johnson (6-6, 245) and Travares Copeland (6-0, 185) are getting a lot of reps at practice and apparently playing well. "If there's a place for them I wouldn't be opposed to playing all five of them," Holgorsen said.

Academic worries

Holgorsen said he has a "couple" of players he is concerned about being academically eligible, but did not identify who.

"They're still in school. Things haven't come back to say yes they're good or no they're not because they're still in school," he said.

Quick hits

Linebacker Jewone Snow was in a red medical jersey at practice and is day to day. He spent the offseason recovering from two shoulder surgeries and is penciled in as the starter at the buck position.

• Depth is a major theme with West Virginia this year, and Holgorsen it's the biggest difference between preseason camp this year and last year. "It seems like we've got a lot more bodies out there," he said.


Jenn Menendez:, 412-263-1959 and Twitter @JennMenendez.


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