MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Twelve spring practices are in the books for the West Virginia University football team. Head coach Neal Brown met with the media following his team’s latest practice on Saturday.
The Mountaineers did a lot of 11-on-11 work on Saturday, with the first- and second-team units getting a majority of the work.
The fifth-year head coach fielded questions on a myriad of topics. Here are some of the biggest talking points.
QB play in Saturday’s scrimmage
With the first- and second-team units getting a lot of work in game-like scenarios on Saturday, Brown and the coaching staff got another good look at Garrett Greene and Nicco Marchiol.
The two quarterbacks alternated time with the ones and twos.
Brown spoke about both players’ days on the gridiron. Here are his thoughts:
On Garrett Greene: “He had three explosive runs, one probably 60-plus yards. And then [he] threw the deep ball really well today. Two that are really fresh on my mind on go balls. And then, he made a couple mistakes on third down, got to have some situational awareness, got to have some field awareness. … He took a sack that he probably shouldn’t have. But some explosive plays, and scrambled around and did some nice things on some broken plays.”
On Nicco Marchiol: “Nicco had two nice drives. And what I mean by that is, he converted multiple third downs. And we forget, you know, he’s in his second spring. He’s a redshirt freshman, and he’s right in the middle of this thing, but he’s young. And today, I thought he made the simple decisions. I think a lot of times in football it’s not getting yourself beat, and on those two drives especially early in practice, he just made good decisions. … Just did a nice job and showing some maturation there.”
Expectations for Jimmy Bell Jr.
Neal Brown confirmed reports on Thursday that WVU men’s basketball center Jimmy Bell Jr. has been practicing with the Mountaineer football team. The head coach was asked about Bell on Saturday, and one thing he made clear was that expectations are being tempered.
Brown also noted there are some similarities between what Bell is asked to do on the basketball court and what WVU is seeing if he can do on the gridiron.
“When people started playing the pick-and-roll game, he had to guard a guy out on the perimeter. That’s not too much different than pass [protecting]. You know, you got to keep the smaller guy in front of you,” said Brown. “Obviously, the biggest difference is we can use our hands in this game.”
Bell was in high school the last time he played organized football. The big man has spent the majority of his time with the football team practicing as an offensive lineman.
Brown added that Bell practiced three days this week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday), and will repeat that process this coming week leading up to the Gold-Blue Spring Game.
The latest on WVU’s roster & roster needs
West Virginia added transfer defensive back Beanie Bishop through the portal on Wednesday. The program has not officially announced the addition, though the player did announce his commitment to the program this week.
Brown was asked about his roster on Saturday, and asked if there are any position groups he wants to add to before the start of fall camp.
“We need probably one more wideout. We need at least [one] D-lineman,” said Brown. “You’ve seen kind of what we’re doing at corner.”
The head coach said he “feels better” about the depth at offensive line and linebacker that he did entering spring camp. However, he noted that those feelings don’t mean the Mountaineers won’t add to those positions if the right opportunity arises.