WVU Players, Coaches Excited For Spring Break - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Players, Coaches Excited For Spring Break


The West Virginia University football team completed two weeks of spring practice, then promptly vacated Morgantown like the rest of the University. It is spring break and Morgantown is taking on the appearance it has during the summer. There is little to no traffic and a lot less pedestrians crossing the street.

Do not expect to see much, if any, football players or coaches in town this week.

"I'm going to Florida," said WVU Co-Defensive Coordinator Joe DeForest.

DeForest and the rest of the defensive staff joined the Mountaineers early in 2012 and promptly hit the recruiting trail. That was followed by National Signing Day and just a few weeks of preparation prior to the start of spring practice. 

Now those coaches, like the players, get a break before the final three weeks of spring practice.

"I think it is fair to give those guys maximum effort while they are here," Running Backs Coach Robert Gillespie said. "As coaches, we give them everything we have, so with that being said it is a fair exchange for us to get a break and get away from them and for them to get away from us."

Perhaps nobody appreciates the break more than the three quarterbacks. Geno Smith, Paul Millard and freshman Ford Childress have thrown a ton of passes through two weeks.

"I think it is a perfect time," Quarterbacks Coach Jake Spavital said. "Geno, Paul, Ford, their arms are pretty dead. We'll give them a good week to relax and get back into it next week."

This has been a major adjustment for Ford Childress. He began his freshman year in college in January. Childress started participating in 7-on-7 drills almost immediately upon his arrival. That was followed up by his first practice with the Mountaineers. He quickly learned that he will be asked to throw a lot of passes in practice.

"Ford was struggling a little bit today," Spavital said. "I got to start cutting the reps down on individual with him because it is pretty taxing on a quarterbacks arm when you are throwing 500 to 1,000 balls a day. It will be good for him to get a good week of rest."

The coaching staff is pretty pleased with the first two weeks of practice and wants that success on the field to continue through the final three weeks. The coaches want the players to enjoy their break, but work just as hard once they return.

"Hopefully they miss football after about three or four days of being home," Gillespie said. "Hopefully they get the mindset that they want to get back and keep playing football."

"We have gone through the installation twice now," Spavital said. "We can come back and actually put it all together and let them go. Our main focus was to get through the three days of installation twice and when we get back we'll run through one or two practices and let them compete and play."

One of the continued goals throughout the remainder of spring practice is to find depth at each position. 

"It is kind of hard to find depth with Garrison being hurt," Gillespie said. "Right now we have most of the carries going to Shawne [Alston] and [Andrew] Buie."

"We would like to find about 22 [players]," DeForest said. "But if we can find 15 to 16 that we can count on, so be it."

"Obviously we want these backups to be pushing the guys in front of them," Offensive Line Coach Bill Bedenbaugh said. "Unfortunately, that is not happening in a lot of positions. That redshirt stuff is over with. They have to grow up and grow up fast."

Spring practice resumes next Tuesday before concluding with the annual Gold-Blue game on April 21.

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