West Virginia offensive lineman Zach Frazier will have even more responsibility on his shoulders as one of the veteran leaders of WVU’s line come the 2023 season. At least one major outlet feels he will handle that responsibility just fine, even suggesting he will excel.
It’s only January, but ESPN released a “Way-Too-Early” 2023 All-American Team, including Frazier at center on the list of elite college players. While predictions like this increase the pressure on Frazier, who will be entering his junior season, WVU will also need the best out him since the Mountaineers will have inexperience at quarterback no matter what.
ESPN's "Way-Too-Early" 2023 All-America team
— West Virginia Football (@WVUfootball) January 20, 2023
Head coach Neal Brown has made it clear WVU won’t be looking to acquire a proven transfer quarterback this year and will go both Garrett Greene or Nicco Marchiol to open the season. Regardless of who ends up winning the job, neither has started a full season at the college level.
Frazier’s consistency is likely why he was placed on this list. He enters the 2023 season with 34 career starts, including 25 consecutive starts at center.
The Fairmont, West Virginia native is no stranger to individual recognition, being named a member of the All-Big 12 first-team. He was also rated as the sixth best center in the country by Pro Football Focus with four of the five centers with higher grades having declared for the NFL draft.
Despite other issues on offense and a tough season as a team, Frazier helped lead the way for a successful Mountaineer rushing attack in 2022. WVU received strong rushing performances from Tony Mathis, CJ Donaldson, Justin Johnson, Jaylen Anderson and even Garrett Greene once he took over as the starting quarterback as a dual threat.
Projections so removed from the start of the season don’t really matter, but this does show that those in the national media do believe in Frazier as a player and feel he’s only going to get better.