MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With summer workouts in full-sweat and the West Virginia newcomers trickling into campus, MetroNews reveals our picks for the Top 10 Most Pivotal Players for the 2014 season. We start the countdown with the guy who starts every play:

No. 10 TYLER ORLOSKY
Position: Center
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Measurables: 6-4, 299

It was a mild surprise in 2013 when Orlosky earned the preseason position battle by a comfortable margin. But after he absorbed a hurting in a Week 2 matchup against Oklahoma four-star defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, coaches weren’t so comfortable and shuffled the lineup. Under a contingency plan that moved Pat Eger to center, Orlosky started only one of the season’s final 10 games.

In a nod toward development, offensive line coach Ron Crook continued to rotate Orlosky into every game, allowing him to play 335 snaps.

He may still struggle against the Big 12′s best tackles—after all, players like TCU’s Chucky Hunter, OU’s Philips and Texas’ Malcom Brown give every center problems. The hope for West Virginia is that Orlosky can avoid being overmatched by those beasts and hold his own against the rest of the league.

Tomorrow: No. 9 on the list is a defensive player hoping to tap into his vast potential.

bubble graphic

39

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Robert

    Alabama 80 WVU 7.
    Trickett will be gone after the 2nd week.
    WVU season, if they get lucky maybe 4 wins.

    • TruthTeller

      Robert has Alabama ever scored 80? I know WVU has scored 70 in the Orange Bowl. Do you actually think WVU is going to lose by that many points? Just remember Alabama runs a pretty vanilla style offense. Run up the middle and bubble screen passes. Alabama's secondary is suspect this year and Dana
      likes to throw the ball. I think WVU special teams is a little better than Alabama's as well.
      WVU has proven on several occasions that any team can be beat on any given day. Just depends on which team wants it more. I believe WVU is hungry and Bama is too cocky and it will cost them on Aug. 30th.

  • VaultHunter

    People show how ignorant they are when they think making more money is a bad thing...to funny

  • VaultHunter

    WVU exposure and revenue at a record high since joining the Big 12
    Thanks Ollie.

    Jay zoom yeah right

  • Big Larry

    Offensive line experience & depth continues a nagging issue, and the quarterback situation is potentially frightening. And then there is that Big 12 schedule. To call it brutal would be an understatement…

  • Sam

    How can anybody not watch this & see the potential we have to be in a BCS bowl game this year?!?! Not only are we going to be beat 'Bama, and by at least a TD, we're going to a BCS bowl game - MARK IT DOWN!!!

    • Jay

      Actually, no we're not. The BCS no longer exists.

  • william

    A lot of WVU fans drink the KOOL-AID.
    Fire Dana 'The Man in Black' Holgerson!
    It's just a matter of time till he is gone
    Never a TRUE Mountaineer, and never will be

    • wv_hawk

      Sooo... You make it sound as if "only West Virginia University grads or West Virginia natives" should coach at WVU. That's kinda "stupid." Imagine who would NOT have coached at WVU -- Nehlen, Bowden, & Izzo-Brown

      And just because "it's a matter of time" until Holgerson leaves... isn't THAT true of EVERYbody??

      Acquire a brain...

    • Hunt

      So your willing to give up one of the nations best coaching staffs, one of the top recruiting classes in 2015 just because you don't like Dana? If you fire him after this year, there won't be a coach anywhere that will accept the job because he will be afraid he will be fired after 3 years. All of you thinking Dana will be fired after this year are reading too many sports magazines. And BTW, Trickett was named starter after spring ball.

  • Gary

    I cannot decide which is the most depressing the articles or the comments. My mental health professional says that I should stop reading both.

    • Ole Sasquatch

      I'm gonna keep my head up high and I'll never cry.
      I plan to carry on this way.

    • JJ

      Here's what's depressing.
      Everyone knows we will win four games or less this year. Another losing season, no bowl again.

      Then when Holgerson gets the ax it'll be another three years to rebuild staff, players and continuity.

      That's what we have to look forward to.

      • william

        I'M LOVIN' IT

      • Mitch

        @ JJ,

        Except for the 3-win part and Dana being fired, and the rebuilding, yea everybody knows all that.

    • Diaspora

      It is kinda like going online to your hometown newspaper's site and reading the obituaries every day. There is very little fulfilling in the comments.

  • Joe

    While this post may not be directly on target, I think it is noteworthy. If you will go back to our strength program 2002-2007 pre-Steve Joseph, our linemen dominated the other teams defensive line. Our line raced to the other end of the field at the end of a quarter. Since that time, (and Im not advocated what Barwis did with the illegal training) our line has been whipped every season. When Coach Joseph was at Notre Dame, they were weak and did not fare well except for Weiss's first season. I honestly believe that our conditioning program is no where near what it needs to be. If you don't control the O and D line, then you have issues. Finally, if WVUs defense ranked cumulatively in the upper half of D-1 Programs, then we would have a decent winning record in each of Holgerson's years. I think that Tony Gibson will make a difference as well as the other guys with WV ties.

    • shawn 108

      Our O line has been terrible since Trickett left WVU. This kid has to have at least football sense seeing how his dad is one of the best if not the best o line coach in the country. I also agree with the conditioning comments as well. Tony Gibson brings a toughness that WVU needs OBVIOUSLY. If i was a coach i would show the players this message board everyday to show them all the doubt. Then make them understand to LEAVE NO DOUBT!!!!!!

  • Rick55

    I assume Allan considers Trickett to be a pivotal player in 2014. Make your comments about the QB position when he does. This article was about Orlosky and the center position.

    +1 Holden

  • Tyrone

    Part time fans? If you don't know who the starting QB is then you are not a true fan of this team .. Go ask or search for yourself it was announced after spring practice.

    • rick

      it was NEVER announced who the starting QB was going to be. tell us the date and what was said------didn't happen. never never never happened!!

      • rick

        this is a follow up......coach H just named the starter today 6-24-2014. so why did he make this big announcement if he did it back in the spring?? don't say things you don't know.

  • Holden

    It never ceases to amaze me that fans are still carping about WVU joining the Big 12. Get over it, already! Nobody else wanted to dance with us!! Get it?! Ollie made the best of a bad situation.

    • Mitch

      @ Holden,

      jaymoo is a MooU fan, and it kills him that we're in a great conference.

      • J the C

        I didn't know he wore green. Is that conjecture or fact? From his comments, you would certainly think so.

  • Rick55

    Redshirt sophomore with lots of snaps. Overmatched against some of the better D lines in 2013. I think with allowance for off-season development, experience under his belt, and decent size for a center, he will be able to hold his own vs good nose tackles and move lesser NTs in 2014. B- to C+ grade..

  • WestByGod

    How about naming a starting quarterback??? It's only been two years....how does this staff still not know who our starter is?

    • dlr

      They told me who it was but I promised not to tell.

    • J the C

      Stupid post. You have no idea what decisions have been made and which are still pending. If they have made a decision regarding the QB, they should keep it under their collective hats for now. Their job isn't to keep you informed.

    • FNP

      Its Trickett. I mean if you cant see that by now then you're clearly missing something.

  • jay zoom

    he better have all his eggs in one basket in week one or it will be a long season. BIG 12 Yeah right THANKS OLLIE

    • Greg

      Oliver Luck kicks buttocks.

      • notorious

        He is just bad at hiring football coaches

    • Mitch

      @ jaymoo,
      YES! Thank you Ollie, for getting us more money than we've ever made, in a great Power 5 conference...by far the best conference we've ever been in!
      Thank you for associating us with some of the best schools in America! Thank you for the success you're building in the Olympic sports as well!
      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    • J the C

      Jayzoom, every comment you post is a gripe about our AD and the move to the Big XII. So tell me genius, if you held that position in 2012, what would you have done?

      • Bob Smithers

        He would have sucked his thumb,whistled Dixie and asked If you want your order supersized as usual.

  • WVU FAN

    Great information and I will tune in for the other nine positions -- I was wondering what grade would you put on the people that is going to line up in front of him through out the year, like with Alabama nose tackle would get a high number like from 1- to 10 & ten being the toughest. Alabama's guys that rotate in and out of the game would probably be the best he goes against all year, so 10 or 11 depending on if he is Bruce Smith type of a ball player. Thanks again...good stuff!!
    Let's Gooooooooooooo!!!!Mountaineeeeeers!!!