MORGANTOWN - Matt Lindamood has never been the type to worry much about his future as a football player at West Virginia. He just grinds away at a pretty grinding position, fullback, and lets the chips fall where they may.
He followed that philosophy even in December, when it became known that the offense in which he had plugged and fought his way to learn was about to change.
Alarms? No, none went off when Dana Holgorsen was hired to redesign West Virginia's offense. Sure, it would have been easy to become discouraged simply by looking at a stack of stat sheets from Holgorsen's recent stops. At his last outpost, Oklahoma State, Holgorsen threw the football all over the lot, and out of 982 plays the Cowboys ran in 2010, the fullback was handed the ball exactly once.
Discouraged about his future? Nah, not Lindamood.
"They say to believe none of what you hear and half of what you see,'' Lindamood said. "Sure, I heard it. But I just kind of let it go and put it in God's hands.''
Well, based on what West Virginia has done during the first 11 spring practices, the fullback might not be a non-factor. Lindamood and Ricky Kovatch have drawn the praises of Holgorsen, not for their running, but for their blocking. The Mountaineers have used a lot of two- and three-back sets, and while the instances where fullbacks actually touch the ball are rare, they are definitely in the mix.
"All I can do right now is base it on the first scrimmage [last Saturday] and the fullbacks got a lot of reps in the scrimmage,'' Lindamood said Wednesday. "Now, that could have had a lot to do with the fact it was raining, I don't know. But we tried hard and Coach Holgorsen always says that if you give effort and make plays you're going to play, regardless of what position you're at.''
While the statistics might not show it at all, there is definitely a place for a fullback in this new offense. Holgorsen, in fact, had the All-Big 12 fullback a year ago at Oklahoma State.
That was Bryant Ward, who indeed carried the ball just once all season and caught four passes for 17 yards. In fact, the 5-foot-11, 237-pound former walk-on carried the ball just three times in his entire career (for a total of 6 yards and two touchdowns), yet twice was named the All-Big 12 first-team fullback.
"He carried one time out of generosity and I threw it to him one time out of generosity,'' Holgorsen said of Ward. "But if we handed it to Lindamood or Kovatch one time and they got 10 yards, we'd probably hand it to them again.