MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Now that one scrimmage is in the books, the WVU football team has reached the most important part of fall camp when players start to separate themselves.
The Saturday night scrimmage was closed to the media, but head coach Neal Brown offered his takeaways after watching his team in action under the lights for the first time.
Brown started off highlighting some players who stood out. As has been a constant theme throughout camp, Brown mentioned running back Jahiem White was impressive, most notably showing what he can do without the ball. He also brought up Jaylen Anderson and Justin Johnson Jr. as other running backs who had good days. Brown said they “took it easy” on CJ Donaldson in the scrimmage.
“Jaylen Anderson had a really good day. He was productive. he’s a guy we need, we just got to get him in shape.He’s got to be able to play continuous plays but he’s talented. Jahiem White was good. He was better without the ball and that’s what you worry about with running backs early in their career is can they play away from the ball.
“Justin Johnson was really consistent. Justin’s probably been our most consistent player at that position during fall camp.”
Without offering the exact distance, Brown said Michael Hayes connected on a really long kick. This is after he’s hit multiple 50+-yarders during practice in recent weeks.
Another Update on QB Battle
Of course, Brown was asked to discuss WVU’s two quarterbacks in the midst of a completion for the starting spot. “The quarterbacks, we did some situational work. Nicco (Marchiol) had a really good two-minute drive at the end of the scrimmage. Struggled with some decision making early,” said Brown.
He then moved to Garrett Greene. “I thought Garrett was pretty solid. He ran around, made a couple of scramble plays, but really just solid in his decision making on Saturday,” he said.
Rodney Gallagher has earned praise and tends to grab most of the headlines, but Brown also gave some love to West Virginia’s other freshman wide receiver. He pin pointed Taylon Ray as the team’s leading receiver from Saturday night.
“Traylon Ray the true freshman receiver was our leading receiver in the scrimmage,” Brown said. “From a freshman standpoint he’s doing some good things and I think he’ll be in the mix for us.”
What About the Defense?
“Defensively, overall, we did a good job of getting lined up. My biggest things have been alignment, physicality, and getting to the ball,” said Brown about the defense.
He mostly talked about what he saw depth wise on the defensive line and that he was still needing to see more linebackers wise before finalizing the death chart.
“I think our d-line is doing better. We’re a group that’s going to be by committee,” he said. “We’re deeper than we have been but it’s going to be by committee. We’re going to play 9-11 guys up there, and we’re going to roll them.”
Now that Brown has witnessed his team in a scrimmage, the pressure is mounting with only two weeks until kicking off the season in front of a packed crowd at Beaver Stadium. Brown said this week is the going to be the toughest and most important of the entire offseason.
“We’re not easing into this,” said Brown about facing off against a team like Penn State right out of the gate.
Click here to find our most recent story with Mike Asti’s thoughts about what he’s seen and heard at practice.
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