MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Dana Holgorsen knows enough about Jace Amaro to be concerned about him today when West Virginia faces Texas Tech at Mountaineer Field.
But he didn't - at least early in the week - know everything about the Red Raiders' tight end.
"A lot,'' Holgorsen said when asked what concerned him most about Amaro. "He's big, fast, strong, blocks well, runs well, catches well. He's pretty good. What year is he? Hopefully he's gone next year.''
Holgorsen was then informed that the 6-foot-5, 260-pounder was only a junior.
"Yeah, he should come out,'' Holgorsen said. "Clearly he should come out after his junior year.''
If he does, Amaro clearly has a future in the NFL. He has the size to play tight end and the speed and agility of a wide receiver. He figures to have a long and productive professional career.
"We saw it up close and personal last year,'' Holgorsen said. "He's a guy that can do a lot of different things. He creates a tremendous amount of mismatches, not just for us but everybody they have played since then while he's been healthy.''
Indeed, health has been Amaro's only issue, and it traces back to last year's game against West Virginia when the Mountaineers knocked him out of the game in Lubbock with a knee injury. But that wasn't until after he'd caught five passes for 156 yards.
"I don't know how you stop him. You try to double cover him, but then it opens up for some of their other pretty good skill guys as well,'' Holgorsen said. "He poses a lot of problems and they've done a good job at utilizing him to get first downs and open up things for some other people.''
The injury against West Virginia still bothers Amaro, not because of anything the Mountaineers did but because it all but ended his season. He missed the last six games and returned only for a bowl game.
"The first doctor told me I was going to be out for two weeks. I was pretty pissed about that,'' Amaro recalled. "The next guy said four, the next guy said six and the last one told me three months. So it was kind of a thing where I didn't want to talk to anybody for a while. It was really frustrating.''
The question hadn't even been finished yet, but as soon as Holgorsen heard the key words in it - third-down conversions - he had a descriptor at the ready.
"Atrocious,'' Holgorsen said.