Morgantown, WV – Ah yes, spring is here, which means warm weather and the fact that football practice is well underway in preparation for the new season. Last weekend West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen addressed the media to give an update on the team and it came as no surprise that there were a few position changes ahead of the 2018 season.
“Tonkery is going to MIKE Linebacker, Pitts is going to corner, which this is not unusual at all for a spring practice. Dravon (Askew-Henry) is going to SPUR linebacker, he’s played them all since I’ve been here. Logan Thimons is going to fullback and that’s about all right now, but that could change.”
As Coach Holgorsen mentioned, this is not unusual or surprising, but gives the coaching staff an opportunity to move some pieces around early on. The one move that comes as a surprise to me is Tonkery being moved inside as small as he is compared to guys that have occupied that spot in years past such as Najee Goode, Nick Kwiatkoski and Al-Rasheed Benton.
Defensive Coordinator Tony Gibson broke down some of the changes beginning with Derrek Pitts, “It’s been hard for him to put on weight, he’s 185 pounds, he runs well. So we will give him a shot to win a job in the spring and see what happens in fall camp, but right now I really like the way he’s progressing.”
On moving Dylan Tonkery to MIKE, “I just think he’s a big, physical, strong kid that understands the defense now.” And finally on moving Askew-Henry to SPUR, “Dravon has played a lot of football, he’s had more starts than anyone else in the program so, I think he has a good understanding of the defense. We can move him anywhere, SPUR, BANDIT, Free safety, but just think he gives us that cover guy when we need it,” said Gibson.
I would expect more changes are to come possibly this spring, but definitely this fall when all of the newcomers are on campus. Obviously, it doesn’t take much to realize the thin area of the team and that is defensive line. Coach Holgorsen says they plan on addressing that hopefully through a transfer or grad transfer and hopefully with the emergence of young guys Stone Wolfley and Jeffery Pooler Jr.
With the spring game just under a month away, many people including us are excited to see what this team is going to look like along with the few changes along the defensive side of the ball.
We are well under 200 days until kickoff, but for now let’s get back to watching Bob Huggins, Jevon Carter and company do their thing in March Madness.