MORGANTOWN - News has been gushing concerning West Virginia University's football program.
There's been word of stadium improvements. Geno Smith was named the Big 12 preseason offensive player of the year. The Mountaineers were selected to finish second in the league behind Oklahoma, according to a poll of media representatives.
But a key player to WVU's fortunes sat quietly in the team's meeting room on Wednesday. At 6-foot-2, 295 pounds, senior nose tackle Jorge Wright didn't look all that imposing. But he's hoping to impose his will on the Big 12 - with a little help from his friends.
"I think what's going to help this year is the depth along our defensive line," Wright said. "That's been an issue the last couple of years. But there's great competition among our three-deep [depth chart]."
That was helped when fellow senior Shaq Rowell was moved from defensive tackle to nose in the spring. Also, freshman Imarjaye Albury made an immediate impact. The numbers should help with WVU's schedule upgrade and the Southwest heat.
But keep in mind Wright won't be playing a familiar style with the Mountaineers' move from a 3-3-5 scheme to a 3-4 that can transition into a 4-3.
"I wouldn't say things have changed tremendously," Wright said. "But I always played [the opponent] head-up. In this, I will never be head-up. I will always be shaded to the side."
The Miami native said that should allow him to make more plays.
"It's more responsibility," Wright said. "You're asked to make plays rather just take up one guy."
Notes from Touchdown City:
"It won't be that big a deal," Wright said. "Maybe if I'd got to know [Holliday] more, but it was only for a year."