Morgantown, WV – For the first time since spring camp ended, a few of the players met with the media yesterday to discuss how summer workouts are going and how the team is preparing for a daunting 2018 season.
One quote stood out yesterday from senior defensive end, Ezekiel Rose. Rose was asked about his thoughts on the depth along the defensive line and he responded by saying, “We will most definitely be one of the most dominating d-lines, we have to be.” He followed that up by saying, “I could see eight guys in the rotation, maybe nine. That breather is going to be lovely, I like the energy that comes in behind me.”
This was a blindsiding quote, to be totally honest.
Usually when you lose as much production as this defensive line did from a year ago, you would expect a bit of a drop. According to Rose that will not be the case for this years group who lost Lamonte McDougle and Adam Shuler to transfers along with Jaleel Fields and Jalen Harvey who left the program. What Rose says should not be doubted because he is in the meetings every day, the workouts, the drills and so on, but depth is certainly concerning.
Junior Reese Donahue is the only returning starter up front and Ezekiel Rose is the only other Mountaineer who has had a large amount of playing time, at least at WVU. USC grad transfer, Kenny Bigelow Jr. and Clemson grad transfer, Jabril Robinson should help add to the depth, but neither have much game experience. Bigelow has battled injuries throughout his career and Robinson played sparingly at Clemson sitting behind one of the best defensive line rooms in the ACC, if not the country.
Rose was then asked who he could see in the rotation,
“I see me, Kenny (Bigelow), Reese (Donahue) or Jabril (Robinson), Darius (Stills), Jeff Pooler, Stone Wolfley, Dante (Stills) and I could see some of the young guys coming in a little bit (James) Gmiter and Tyrese (Allen).”
Whether the depth is really that deep or not, you have to like the confidence and belief that Rose has in the two deep and even three deep.