O-Line Class Brings High Expectations to WVU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

O-Line Class Brings High Expectations to WVU

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MORGANTOWN -

As the faxes began to slow last Wednesday and the WVU coaches were able to sit back and evaluate the talent that had signed on to become Mountaineers, offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh was quite satisfied with what he saw.

Four new scholarship linemen would be joining the team and the size and strength that each had shown through the years leading up to National Signing Day is something that hasn't always accompanied West Virginia's additions at the position.

"I don't know much about the past, but I'm happy with it," Bedenbaugh said of his o-line class. "And not just their play – they're good character kids. You look at their grades, they're all 2.7 and higher, which is pretty good. They all come from good families, they all have really good support systems, they're close to home kids."

Among his new students, there are three freshmen and one junior college transfer, Mark Glowinski. Getting young talent to grow and development over the coming seasons is clearly something any coaching staff looks for in each recruiting class, but Bedenbaugh seems most excited about Glowinski and the help he can provide in year one.

"I don't think there's any doubt that kid understands that he's got two years to play and we're not looking to redshirt him," says Bedenbaugh. "He's coming here to play and obviously he's got to earn it."

At 6-foot-5, 290 pounds, Glowinski says his best attribute to any team is his ability to play multiple positions. He always tried to learn every spot along the line so that if a team ever needed a specific position, he wouldn't be overlooked because he didn't have experience there.

West Virginia intends to use Glowinski in the position the graduating Don Barclay recently left vacant: left tackle.

"He can play any position, I don't think there's any doubt," says Bedenbaugh. "If you see his film, he looks like a damned tight end. It's amazing to me, him out there running around in space but also being physical like an offensive lineman."

Bedenbaugh puts a lot of stock into building trust throughout the recruiting process and he believes he's done just that with the four linemen who will be getting to campus this summer.

He points to Glowinski's coaches and their referrals regarding his character in addition to his physical skills and how that type of conversation can help develop future relationships. Sometimes you have to rely on what a player's current coach says about him rather than just see glimpses of it on film.

"You can't just look at a five-play highlight tape and say, ‘Wow, that kid's going to be a great player.' It doesn't work that way," says Bedenbaugh. "I know some people on the outside might think that, but there's so many more factors that go into recruiting the kid."

Aside from Glowinski, it is difficult to imagine that Adam Pankey, Tony Matteo or Tyler Orlosky would get thrown into the rotation in year one. It simply doesn't happen for freshmen at the position.

Bedenbaugh says that in about 20 years of coaching offensive linemen, he has only had two freshmen who played at all and neither of them was ever a starter.

What he can be pleased with, though, is that there is depth beginning to take shape at his position that did not exist in his first season at WVU. Last year's recruits have molded themselves into players capable of getting on the field if injury or poor play ahead of them leaves a spot open, which is something Dana Holgorsen couldn't say too often a year ago.

"That's the one great thing about Coach Holgorsen is he understands the importance of offensive line play and he understands the importance of having to take three to five kids every year and build that depth and continue to get young kids and bring them up for the program," says Bedenbaugh.

He's already begun the process to bring in another three to five linemen in next year's class and when the summer comes along Bedenbaugh will finally get to see what these four additions are truly capable of in Morgantown.  

 

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