MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s spring football schedule is taking on a fan-friendly, barnstorming flare, with head coach Dana Holgorsen announcing plans to stage three open practices, including two at off-campus locations.

The following Saturday practices will be open to fans (weather permitting):

— March 22 at Wheeling
— March 29 in Morgantown
— April 5 at Charleston

Those lead up to the April 12 spring game in Morgantown, which will be open to fans as usual.

“We want all of Mountaineer Nation to be able to come, to see what we’re putting out there, to see what the product is,” Holgorsen said. “I think everybody’s going to be pleasantly surprised at what the product’s going to be.”

With a three-year record of 21-17, Holgorsen is feeling the heat to rectify the program after last season’s 4-8 finish. Dating back to 2012 the Mountaineers have dropped 14 of their last 20 games, leading WVU athletics director Oliver Luck to issue an offseason vote-of-confidence for Holgorsen that came with the caveat, “We simply must get better.”

TRICKETT ON THE MEND
One player fans won’t be seeing this spring is senior quarterback Clint Trickett, who’s recovering from shoulder surgery and doesn’t project to be cleared until summer workouts.

“He will be throwing gradually over the course of spring, but will not be participating in spring (practices),” Holgorsen said.
“He’s participating in meetings, he’s actively learning and trying to get a little ahead of the curve knowledge-wise from where he was in the fall.”

Recall that Holgorsen grew frustrated last season by Trickett’s inability to click the offense into hurry-up mode, a problem the coach and transfer chalked up to communication foibles.

Trickett underwent arthroscopic surgery Jan. 14 on his right shoulder’s AC joint (an injury believed to have been suffered way back on Sept. 28 during an upset win over Oklahoma State). His most optimistic recovery timetable was mid-March, which would have allowed Trickett to take practice reps once the team returned from spring break.

As it stands now, he’ll have to settle for returning in time for 7-on-7 summer sessions.

“When he comes back in summer, he’ll be 100-percent cleared,” Holgorsen said.

Trickett remains the frontrunner to win the starting job next fall, but a heavy dose of spring reps could boost the profile of sophomore junior college transfer Skyler Howard. And, of course, there’s fellow senior Paul Millard, who started three games last season, and Fairmont State transfer Logan Moore, who shifted back to quarterback after working last season at receiver.

WHO’S OUT, WHO’S BACK
Junior linebackers Wes Tonkery (shoulder) and Jared Barber (knee) will sit out spring practice but should be cleared for summer workouts, Holgorsen said. In addition, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Tyler Tezeno (knee) could return near the end of spring practice.

Among the players cleared for spring drills: Redshirt freshman safety Malik Greaves (hip), junior linebacker Shaq Pettway (knee), junior running back Dustin Garrison (hamstring), sophomore nose tackle Christian Brown (foot) and sophomore cornerback Nana Kyeremeh (shoulder).

Another key player cleared to return is junior safety K.J. Dillon, whose season ended when he was hospitalized with dehydration after the Nov. 8 Texas game. Holgorsen said Dillon has increased his weight from 179 pounds at the time of his illness to a healthy 208.

GIBSON PROMOTION OFFICIAL
In addressing the previously-reported promotion of Tony Gibson to defensive coordinator (created by Keith Patterson’s departure for Arizona State), Holgorsen emphasized the local ties at play. A Boone County native, a Glenville State graduate and, most famously, a former Rich Rodriguez assistant at WVU, Gibson has heartily preached the home-state narrative since returning last season to WVU.

“Nobody cares more about the Mountaineers, nobody cares more about the state of West Virginia and West Virginia University than Tony does,” Holgorsen said.

“When I announced it to the team the other day, I think he got a standing ovation by the kids, so you can tell what kind of respect they have for him.”

Holgorsen confirmed some breaking news later Friday, by announcing that he and Gibson were bringing aboard former Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.

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Comments

  • 1olewvufan

    I really like the hiring of former Penn State DC Tom Bradley. Bradley had some very good defenses during his many years at Penn State. I like the fact he is over WVU's Defense, and he should be with his many years of success.

    I would like to see one more coach hired for the defense.

    What WVU needs right now is stability on the Defensive Coaching Staff, and maintain the stability they appear to have on Offensive Coaching Staff.

    I agree with Holgorsen's statement about the fans being pleased with the product he and his staff produces in 2014.

    I also thought Crook statement that he was to blame with many of offensive line issues, was a positive.

    Opening up for the fans is a good thing and is a smart move on Holgorsen's part.

    I like what I'm seeing with the new coaches and the recruits that Holgorsen and his staff have brought in. WVU is further ahead with the 2015 recruiting class at this point-in-time than in previous years with 7-commits, and these are talented players.

    Go EERs!!!

  • wvajoker

    All of this negativity is appalling. Whether the Mountaineers have a championship season or a losing season they are still our Mountaineers and we shouldn't let this negative attitude spill over to the\footballteam. As for KeatonsCorner, you need to go back to the Herds's hole you came out of.

  • KeatonsCorner

    More smoke and mirrors from the WVU Athletic Department in an effort to sell tickets.

    After the first game, WVU will be 0-1...and it will only go down hill from there.

    Just sayin...

    • Dave

      If you're saying we don't have a chance against Bama then you are wrong. Has WVU football been told we couldn't win before? Have we not been the only State in the nation that said yes we will win? Where is your Mountaineer pride? Where is your Mountaineer loyalty? Just because it says Alabama on the jersey doesn't mean they can't be beat.

      • mad hatter

        alabama is just not up to par with the big12,, okla showed the world , that.
        and wvu will got into tusc. and destroy them in their house, and take a dump on their logo after the game

        • WVcoal

          Take a deep breath. They play Bama at the GA Dome, in Atlanta.

          • David Elswick

            Lets look at history.

            1 - In a Sugar Bowl played in Atlanta, WVU was not suppose to be able to play with the SEC rep - Georgia. WVU was representing the smaller Big East that had lost 3 teams to the ACC. Memory serves me that Rich Rod had a score of 28-0 by the end of the 1st quarter. Georgia fans got very quiet. WVU won.

            2 - Rich Rod went to Michigan and WVU, under interim coach Bill Stewart, went to face Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl (after losing to Pitt [with a losing record] at home by 13-9). Score 48-28 - winner WVU. Mike Leach, head coach at Texas Tech, then hired Dana H. and told him "run what WVU ran, only run it faster".

            3- WVU representing the Big East in the Orange Bowl against Clemson and no tv announcers picked WVU. They all said Clemson would win by at least 21 points. Final score 70-33 - winner West Virginia.

            Personally, I lost forward to facing Alabama, coached by former WVU coach Nick Saban, on a neutral field. If former WVU coach Bobby Bowden was planning things, fans could expect a few trick plays to rattle Nick's team.

    • GoEers

      Hi Big Larry....I see that you are hijacking the screen name again of the person that called you out for who you are.

      That's not very nice Larry

    • Aaron

      Meanwhile down in Huntington, after waxing Glenville State...

  • Country Roads

    It's one or the other, positive talk or negative talk, don't expect the coach to talk negative about anything before even spring practice. I think he said all the right things. Coach Holgorsen is out doing his job. He is trying to get people in the football mode, trying to tell them that we are going to be better, trying to tell them that we need them and their support come to Morgantown watch the games. It's like this with any coach when things go good or bad. What do you do? You change you shuffle move people around replace them. Haha what is the old saying? If it's broke fix it! If it's not broke don't fix it. Nothing wrong with taking the team to Wheeling to practice or going to Charleston, I like the idea.
    If you don't like Dana you're not going to like anything he does, if you're not in favor or West Virginia you're going to say nothing positive in their favor, just the way life is. I am a Mountaineer fan, going to support the team going to support the school going to support the coaches. Freedom of speech freedom of choice. See you at the games.

    • Dave

      Very well said and I couldn't agree more. WVU football will rise again!!!!!!

    • mad hatter

      let's see now, if i don't like the direction the dana has taken this team then i am not a wvu fan, and i shouldn't post anything negative.
      So , we all set back, watch our football program crumble, and accept it because that's what an eer fan does.
      Couldn't disagree with you more,,, If you are not open to change, you're stuck in reverse.If you don't express your thoughts about the program, then the program will be like the berlin wall,,, someone , sometime has to decide to knock down that wall...
      this is a make or brake yr for dana, 7 wins is a must... but i do like the bradley hire, he should have been named the DC

  • John b

    Like Holgs or not fact is his recruiting classes have been some of the best we have ever had in school history. Now the question is can he x and o these kids to victory? I think he can and I believe we are back on the rise.

    • please

      His classes have been ranked in the 30s and 40s. Our classes have always been ranked in the 30s and 40s.

      Your claims are a bunch of bunk.

    • mad hatter

      we are just one player away for a 10-2 season. and we easily could have done that the past yr.. no one really outplayed us, but just got a little impatient at times, and we will possibly win the conf this yr...

  • Mike

    Everything sounds rosy and great leading into spring ball...Ollie and Dana trying to sell tickets and get fans excited over a losing team. Time will tell.

    • Heasa Duffuss

      I agree with Mike

      Why don't we fire all the coaches and release all the players so they can got to other schools and drop football all together for a few years.

      Then we can start up again fresh with no baggage!!!! After all according to many of the ass clowns on this site WVU suck they cannot win and may not win again for 2 or 3 decades

      Why have a team

      Just a thought from a Mountainer who WILL be at the games and supporting the team

      • GoEers

        yeah there are some real winners who post on here....most of them are disgruntled jealous marshall trolls who can't stand the fact that WVU is playing in a Big 5 Conference while they're favorite team is stuck playing div. 2 like teams

        • mad hatter

          yes ,it's a shame all of us can't be winners, and win 3 bcs games, we probably just stumbled a bit over the last two yrs. and dana will fix it.I say, we go 8-4 this yr. and win a bowl.

      • mad hatter

        i agree, let's fire all the coaches.. now that's stupid,,, you're a troll from marshall , shame onl you don't you have your own site?
        and no we shouldn't get rid of fb ,what would we do on sat.s this fall

    • Big fan

      I thought their record was 0-0. Didn't know this team had lost anything.

      • mad hatter

        what in the world are you talking about,, are you from looney tunes?

  • Marcus

    I think this year will be much better than last year.Whats up with all the negativity.

  • Protechcpa

    Holgorsen sounds like a politician whose polling numbers are down. He is most likely on the way out. Luck is probably building the staff that will take over when he is relieved of his position. Hang in there, Trickett. Pulling for you this fall.

  • wv_hawk

    Ooooo...

    Sour grapes really do make the best "whine."

    See what I did there?

    RR and his whole debacle are ancient history. Try living in the future - that's something that can be changed. The past can never be changed - refuse to be held captive by it.

    I agree we need a qb - nothing I've heard gives me much hope there and it's something that needs to be fixed. The sooner the better.

  • tw eagle

    read the travel listing for spring - AHAA ! WVU is planning on getting Crest acclimated to what is expected on the road . . . and then I realized Crest won't report till summer time practice . . .

    Tonkery & Barber , two mountain state products that have already etched their skills
    & work habits into the WVU program can take the extra time to build strength and quickness . . . let the newbies show their acumen at trying to play 'Mountaineer' football . . .

    having all the guys love you is a great personal quality and asset . . . but as a coach , being responsible for the execution of a whole unit , you can - I mean WILL , hurt some young mens feelings when you point out some missed assignments . . . and repeating the same mistakes will bring dark clouds & thunder from the coach . . . be their friend , father, confessor - but above all Mr Gibson , be their coach . . . for this they will not love you , they will respect you . .

    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !

    • mad hatter

      wow,, holy batman, you're a real sage

      • tw eagle

        your moniker seems to fit you well . . .

        and imitation is the biggest & best form of flattery . . . kiss kiss kiss

        YOU MORON

  • chasmo

    No QB -- ouch ! DeForrest STILL with us - double ouch !! Open w/ Bama-triple ouch !!!. However , great hire by Luck - possible " change" in mid season if a non producing team ?!?

  • WV Grad

    Opening up for the fans is good news.
    Gibby and Bradley--onward and upward!

  • Aaron

    Don't feed us a line of BS that nobody cares for the State and WVU more than Tony Gibson.... If that was true he would of stayed!!!

    • Aaron

      This Aaron disagrees. When Richrod left for Michigan, Coach Gibson would have been a fool not to go with him.

      • Aaron

        And they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

        Thanks

      • Leroy j Gibbs

        Sounds like schizophrenia to me

  • Baldeagle

    Sounds very much like pre season last season.
    Truth is, we still haven't a QB. Congrats Tony, you will be needing some really good results this year cause the offense will be offensive. Hope Trickett put on some weight, if not, he will need lots of padding.

  • Aaron

    He cares so much about WV that he left with Richfraud and tried to get recruits to leave with them !!!

    • Allen

      Would you have stayed so Casteel could fire you? No you would have left with a sure thing. Grow up Aaron.

      • WvuGrad05

        I have plenty of things to say. As a proud alumni of Wvu I try not to pay attention to a lot that's said especially negatively about 18-21 yr old student/athletes. Great hire on getting Tom Bradley, Gibson left because he knew he was a lame duck with casteel. I come from a family of coaches and had an internship for the years in Motown with all the athletic programs. Yes I agree we don't have a QB for this year but for any of you idiots to say holgz and his staff can't recruit are DEAD WRONG. You will see this year the improvements and wants crest settles in, along with Bradley Gibson building the defense we will be competing for the opportunity at a big 12 champ in 2-3 years.

        • WvuGrad05

          So many residents, notice I didn't say fans of west Virginia should be ashamed of themselves for the blasting of holgz, luck, and for god sakes even huggy bear. Every program is going to have a year or two that they won't achieve their goals. Yes a lot of fans got spoiled in the coach rod and coach beilein eras. If you don't know the game regardless the sport then don't comment. Just keep your mouths shut.

          • mad hatter

            again wow,, what an astute poster,,, you should be HC.