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Big 12 Media Day Takeaways: Neal Brown

Schuyler Callihan

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Photo credit: Schuyler Callihan/DubVNation.com

Arlington, TX – Neal Brown made his Big 12 Media Day debut as West Virginia head coach which was fairly swift. He pointed out early on the teams youth and where they stand at the moment, “Our players and staff, I can’t compliment them anymore of how they really bought into what we’re doing and how we’re building our program. We’re young, very inexperienced. What we’re going to look like in the fall? I’m not sure yet. We are going to be a group that grows and improves as we go through our Big 12 Conference in what is a very challenging schedule, but I do like our guys. They’re hungry, very humble and I’m looking forward to working with them.”

When asked on what made West Virginia fans become extremely welcoming, coach Brown responded with a subtle joke, “Barry, I think it’s cause we are undefeated.” However, Brown did go into detail on why he thinks so, “I think our marketing staff and the people within the administration do a great job of presenting us to the state. I think there is a lot of relate-ability. I can’t say enough about how we’ve been received.”

What may be the most challenging task for Neal Brown in year one in Morgantown is the difficult schedule. The Mountaineers are one of only four Power Five teams that will play eleven Power Five opponents. Coach Brown knows what challenges are to come and isn’t all that concerned. “I knew what the schedule was when I took the job. I think when you look at scheduling, it is what it is. We don’t even talk to our players about it. We’re kind of in a one game mindset and I know that’s cliche, but that’s how we go about it. It is a very challenging schedule, our future schedules are challenging. Being where we fit geographically, I think it’s important for us to play natural rivals. The series with Pitt is coming up, we play Virginia Tech. Some of those type of games make sense, it’s hard for our fan base to travel.”

Former West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen spent much of his time on the recruiting trail pursuing transfers, grad transfers and junior college guys. Coach was asked if he will have a similar strategy in building his program. “I think you have a niche. We’re always going to try to build our team through the high school football recruiting. I think that’s how you build your foundation. I think it’s important to have guys in your program for four and five years, but we’re also going to be creative in how we build our roster. We will take transfers, but we’re going to build our program around high school football players.”

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