Courtesy of orangeandwhite.com
Following the spring game, it was very difficult to get an accurate feel of the West Virginia linebacker corps. For one, likely starters Jewone Snow and Terence Garvin both missed the contest with injuries; however, both are slated to return for fall camp.
Garvin will play the STAR linebacker, while Snow will line up at the BUCK position. Why this position is considered a weak point is because of so many unknowns.
How will they react to the position changes?
Well, one standout player, Jared Barber, has admitted that this has not been the easiest transition at times.
In an article by Mitch Vingle of the Charleston Gazette, the rising sophomore had this to say about the changes of his defensive assignments from a year ago: "It's a lot different [moving to a 3-4 scheme]," Barber said. "In the beginning, my head was spinning. I didn't really know what to expect. Everything was new. Now I know all the [new assistants]. I'm in the system. I feel a lot more comfortable, for sure."
He said his teammates feel the same.
Another issue that concerns me is the relative uncertainty of certain players such as senior linebacker Josh Francis. He was a JUCO All-American when he arrived on campus; however, he has started only one game in a Mountaineer uniform.
In fact, the four starting linebackers have a combined 44 starts between them, and of those, 33 belong to Terence Garvin (24 starts) and Doug Rigg (9). One player to watch is Rigg's backup, redshirt freshman Isaiah Bruce, who really impressed in the spring, but he is another player in the rotation who has very little experience.
In short, the West Virginia linebackers are very inexperienced heading into the Big 12, and it remains to be seen how they will respond against elite competition.