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Tribute to Stew, 'best of' Garvin and Buie

YE OLDE notebook, WVU football camp style:

  • In a nice nod to former West Virginia coach Bill Stewart, the school's athletic department will unveil a plaque today, according to program director Oliver Luck.
  • "We want to honor Coach Stew," Luck said. "It will be a bronze plaque in the public access area in the [Puskar Stadium's] concourse by the press box. It honors him as a true Mountaineer."

    Luck said a small group has been invited to witness the unveiling. Stewart died at age 59 after three seasons of coaching WVU from 2008-10.

    Classy move.

  • West Virginia linebacker Terence Garvin has experienced a couple rough moments in the past year.
  • One, of course, resulted in a misdemeanor shoplifting charge. The other came in last season's South Florida game when he hurt his knee and, subsequently, not only missed the Orange Bowl but also spring drills.

    Both issues have apparently been resolved. Also, co-defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said Garvin is starting to shine in the Mountaineers' new 3-4 defensive scheme.

    "I thought he had his best day of camp [this week]," Patterson said. "He's really starting to understand, and gain a good understanding, not only of his pass responsibilities but [also] his run [responsibilities]. Plus, he's got to be an explosive blitzer.

    "He's back fully healthy. He's doing great. Full speed. He looks like the old Terence."

  • Running backs coach Robert Gillispie echoed Patterson's "best day" sentiment when he spoke of last season's tailback starter Andrew Buie. But when Gillispie said it, he meant best of the sophomore's career.
  • "It was a situation where he went 12, 13 snaps in a row," said the position coach. "We just wanted to see if he could carry the load, and he did. He ran the ball hard; he caught the ball; he pass protected."

    Buie began last season as the No. 1 back but, after the third game, fell out of favor, had injuries and disappeared. As he walked out of the Milan Puskar Center this week, though, Buie said he's feeling more comfortable. Gillispie said many are happy for it.

    "His teammates are excited for him," said the coach.

  • While on the subject of running backs, keep an eye on No. 30 this season. That's Donovan Miles, who moved from strong-side linebacker to fullback in the spring.
  • Gillispie said Miles has certainly been pushing Ryan Clarke.

    "He has," said the coach. "I'll tell you what, Donovan Miles is a guy who is very emotional. You can see on every rep he's pissed if he doesn't make a play or excited when he does. As a position coach, that's what you want to see.

    "If we had to play tomorrow, I'd have no problem playing him 25-30 snaps a game."

    That, by the way, is how many snaps a fullback is expected to be on the field in Dana Holgorsen's 2012 offense.

    "Last year our fullbacks played 25 to 30 snaps of a 70, 80-play deal," Gillispie said. "The one thing about our fullback is when he's in, he's a huge part. I tell them that a running back might be away from the ball, but when we call you into the game we're calling you in to be a lead blocker or block the back-side defensive end. You have to get into play mode."

  • If you noticed in this space on Thursday, offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh didn't mention junior college transfer Mark Glowinski when talking about the current rotation. But don't sell Glowinski short yet.
  • "He's doing really good," Bedenbaugh said. "He's a really talented guy. Just gotta learn. He was at a [junior college] last year and they obviously did things differently. I think he got here May 21st.

    "You can see his progression. I mean, he's unbelievably talented. He's got strength, athleticism ... he's got everything you want. But he's got to learn what we're teaching, the techniques we're teaching. Right now in our pass set, he doesn't set great at all. But it's still effective. Sometimes it hurts him, sometimes it doesn't.

    "Mark is a guy who is coming along. Hopefully, he'll come along a little bit faster."

    Might Glowinski redshirt?

    "There's that option," Bedenbaugh said. "We're not making that decision now, though. Right now he's among our top 10 guys, so we've got to get him ready to play. Right now, that's not what we're thinking."

  • Mountaineer defensive line coach Erik Slaughter said that although Shaq Rowell is now the No. 1 nose tackle, look for moving parts there.
  • "You want to be able to put different combinations on the field," Slaughter said. "The other day we were doing a two-minute drill. The offense was 1:06 out with 80 yards to go. Well, to have a 300-pound nose on the field is not the way to go. So you get smaller. You move Jorge [Wright] down; you move Will [Clarke] over."

  • WVU quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital made it clear Paul Millard is Geno Smith's backup. Nothing has changed since word leaked that freshman Ford Childress would be redshirted. The question is, has Childress changed since the news leaked?
  • "I was afraid of that," Spavital said. "I don't want any of them thinking they'll redshirt. You don't want to build that mentality that they won't go into the game and have them get lazy. You want them to come in every single day and prepare like they're going to be the starter."

    So far so good, said Spavital.

    "[Childress is] young," said the coach. "He's at the point where Paul was last year. This is going to be a big year for both [Childress and Millard]. They have to start operating at a high level because we're going to need one of them to step up once Geno leaves."

  • And finally . . .
  • Defensive lineman Christian Brown could have been in a pool as well as WVU's camp. Because, at 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, he's made serious waves. Slaughter, however, said there's been a bit of an ebb in the true freshman's development.

    "Christian Brown is doing great," Slaughter said. "He plays hard every day. He wants to do good. But like every freshman, in week two you hit a wall. You've never had such demands. You've probably never had a guy like me show up and put pressure to perform like I'm going to. So it's a learning curve.

    "You don't go home and get patted on the back by mom. You don't get 'Everything's OK, honey.' It's tough."

    Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvingle@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.


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