WVU Football Players Excited To Play In Big 12 - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Football Players Excited To Play In Big 12

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MORGANTOWN -

 

West Virginia University does not officially join the Big 12 until July 1. With competition complete for nearly all sports teams, preparation for Big 12 play is already beginning.

The WVU football team has completed five of its 15 allotted spring practices. The new defensive coaching staff is busy installing its 3-4 defense and already preparing for Big 12 competition.

The players look at their first season in the Big 12 as an opportunity to make a statement to the nation.

"I'm so excited to go to a new conference and show the nation that we are not just a little school, we're here," said Offensive Lineman Pat Eger.

"We're real excited about the challenge of going to the big 12," Offensive Lineman Josh Jenkins stated. "The guys are big, they are going to be faster and it's a chance to show what we are capable of as an offensive line."

The schedule has been out for a little more than a month and it does look a little strange. Gone are the Syracuse, Connecticut and Rutgers games. They have been replaced with schools like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas.

"It's different not playing Syracuse and Rutgers and all that," Linebacker Doug Rig said. "Now you see Texas and Texas Tech on the schedule. Those were schools I grew up watching and wondering how good these guys are. I'm very anxious to get into it. None of us are intimidated at all, so we are pretty excited for it."

New additions to the roster this spring and those joining the team in the summer never competed in the Big East. All they will know is Big 12 competition. Some of them come to WVU from the Midwest. They grew up watching Big 12 football and say they are excited to compete in that conference.

"I'm very familiar with the Big 12," Freshman Receiver Jordan Thompson said. "That put the icing on the cake for me signing my letter of intent to come here. Growing up in Texas, Big 12 football is definitely big down there and when I heard WVU was going to the Big 12 that definitely made a spark."

Thompson is from Katy High School in Texas, which sits just outside of Houston. The Mountaineers have four road games on the 2012 schedule and one neutral site game. Two of those four trips will be to play at Texas and at Texas Tech. Those are two of the games that instantly stood out on the schedule to Thompson.

"It hit me like, wow, this is actually reality," Thompson said with a smile. "It will be fun playing in Texas again."

They are not in place yet, but Big 12 logos will be coming to Mountaineer Field. WVU is still listed on the Big East website and playing Big East spring sports. But make no mistake, the mentality has already shifted towards the Big 12.

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