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
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.