Holgorsen Looking for Growth in WVU Offseason - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Holgorsen Looking for Growth in WVU Offseason

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MORGANTOWN -

The term "offseason" is a loose one in just about any sport these days and college football is not the least of those that is anything but "off" when the season concludes.

For Dana Holgorsen's Mountaineers, the work has been underway from the moment their last game ended all through the spring football session and now as the players do voluntary work under the watchful eye of the strength and conditioning staff.

Strength coach Mike Joseph may be leading the young men through their training in the month when Holgorsen and the assistant coaches aren't able to actually coach anything, but that doesn't mean the head man isn't staying busy as summer approaches.

Following a 7-6 season that fell far short of expectations and erased what was once seen as a promising undefeated start through five games, Holgorsen knows West Virginia is thought to have far different prospects heading into the fall.

No longer will his offensive stars be the talk of the conference, because hardly anyone on that side of the ball has made a real name for himself as those who made up the unit a year ago had. And don't expect the Mountaineers to find themselves listed behind only Oklahoma in the preseason polls.

If WVU is successful in year two with the Big 12, it will be a surprise, not what was anticipated.

"Every year's going to be different, you've just got to take the team that you have and you've got to mold them into the best that you possibly can," said Holgorsen. "There's going to be some things that you're going to miss about last year's team, but hopefully there's a whole lot of things that we can look forward to, which is just trying to make these guys better every single day and get them in position to where we can win a bunch of football games."

Getting better every single day will be largely up to the strength staff and the individual player. Without coach supervision and instruction, the onus of growing through this offseason is on each student-athlete.

It's also important to remember at this time of year that there are two parts to the equation of being a "student-athlete." With less time devoted to film study and game planning and travel, the Mountaineers have the opportunity to get ahead in the classroom and work toward their degrees.

"You've got to handle your business academically and try to get in position to get as close to your degree as you possibly can and just try to become a bigger, stronger, faster guy and don't forget about the football aspect of things," Holgorsen said.

To that end, the head coach expects that when he roams through the Milan Puskar Center and passes by position meeting rooms, he'll see a few of his players with the projector on, watching film from last season and the spring practices to get themselves better.

He also recognizes that the staff did a lot of work last season to solidify what he feels is a strong recruiting class and though a few of them were present in the spring, many will not make it to campus until the summer and so when the team reconvenes for camp, it should have quite a different look.

"We're going to add 33 percent of our team this summer sometime with 20 new scholarship guys, a bunch of new walk-ons, so there are a lot of guys who we don't even know what they can do yet," said Holgorsen. "The more they can get ahead with some help from the older guys, they can get themselves to where they can compete in August."

There is plenty of work left to be done if WVU intends to exceed what it was able to accomplish on the field a year ago. But Holgorsen and his team believe there is much to be learned from their first go-around as members of the Big 12 and those points will go into trying to change their fortunes this fall.

"There's a lot of guys on our team who aren't thrilled with the 7-6 season, that were embarrassed by the bowl game," said Holgorsen. "What do we have to do to get better? We've just got to one, make ourselves better every day individually and then get out there and recruit a bunch of guys and put a team together that can hopefully compete and then come out on the winning end of the spectrum a few more times than we did last year." 

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