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Watch: ‘The Reel Neal’ Shows a Day in the Life of WVU Head Coach Neal Brown

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All this week West Virginia football has been posting videos on social media in a series called “The Reel Neal”. The five-part series follows WVU head coach Neal Brown throughout the day of Aug. 22, the team’s first full-squad practice since mid-March. Watching all five parts takes a little less than 25 minutes and offers an interesting look into everything that WVU coaches and players do on a day-by-day basis.

Part One – Own Your Morning

In this first installment, Brown talks about a philosophy he has about being productive – “you’ve got to own a certain time of your day”. We see Brown hard at work on his laptop at 5:28 a.m. before getting in a workout and eventually making his way into Morgantown.

Brown calls his 15 to 20-minute drive to the team facility “therapeutic”. He describes it as a time he can go through his schedule in his mind.

Part Two – Preparation

In this part, we get to see the preparation for WVU’s first full-team practice since March. We see the team still split into two groups of players, the gold and blue teams. Brown greets the gold team on the concourse of the stadium. He then moves on to greet the blue team in the indoor practice facility including.

At the end of the video, we see Brown on a call with sophomore cornerback Nicktroy Fortune. Fortune has been away from the team for a few weeks dealing with a death in his family. Brown tells him that as long as he is working out and attending the meetings they can get him back up to speed whenever he returns.

Part Three – August 22

Finally, in part three we get to see the team’s full-squad practice. One of the highlights is redshirt-sophomore James Gmiter battling senior Darius Stills. Brown also goes into the technology the team uses to monitor its players during practices. Brown said he evaluates players after practice by both asking players to rate the difficulty on a scale from 1-10 and by looking at their biological data. He said he likes to shoot for medium practices, between a 4 and a 6.

Part Four – A Coach and More

In this video, we get to see a lot of stuff Brown takes care of after practice, including offensive team and individual player meetings. Brown also meets and talks to former coaches Don Nehlen and Bob Pruett about the team’s new locker room. Nehlan had 149 wins as WVU’s head coach from 1980-2000 and Pruett had 94 wins as Marshall’s head coach from 1996-2004. Pruett and Nehlen also commend Brown on the job he has done recruiting in-state players.

Brown then spends time practicing softball with his daughter Anslee and meeting with the gold team quarterbacks – Trent Jackson, Jarret Doege and Matt Cavallaro.

Part Five – Vision

In the series finale, we see the team go through walkthroughs for both the gold and blue teams. Brown also holds a meeting with the blue team quarterbacks, Garrett Greene and Austin Kendall. At 9:51 p.m., Brown finally calls it a day and leaves for home. On the drive, he talks about how he is constantly thinking about football and how the team can get better and about the internal struggle he has been facing ever since a new Dairy Queen opened by his house.

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Cody spent the last two years getting his master's degree in journalism from WVU. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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