The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

May 30, 2014

Holgorsen excited about newest Mountaineer

When West Virginia University announced the signing of Gardner-Webb transfer Shaquille Riddick earlier this month, the name Bruce Irvin quickly came to the lips of Mountaineer fans everywhere.

The comparison to the honorable mention All-American, first-round draft pick and Super Bowl champion were surely unfair, but after Irvin transferred to WVU from Butler Community College and instantly became a force in opponents’ backfields, any defensive end, especially a transfer, at WVU will be compared to the fan favorite.

Mountaineer head coach Dana Holgorsen knows the chances of landing another Irvin are slim, but that didn’t keep him from glowing with excitement last week during a WVU Coaches Caravan stop at Calacino’s when he spoke about the newest member of his team.

The former Football Championship Subdivision All-American likely won’t come in and pick up 14 sacks in his first year as a Mountaineer, as Irvin did in 2010, but after picking up 8.5 sacks as a junior last year, Holgorsen is confident he can help.

“He’s 6-foot-6, 245 pounds and he can run fast,” said WVU’s fourth-year head coach. “So he’ll be able to come off the edge and hopefully get to the quarterback a good bit. You never know in recruiting what you’ve got until you have him. But he does have something we don’t have on our team right now, which is a long body that can come off and rush the passer.”

Scouts seem to agree that Riddick’s skills will translate to the next level. NFLDraftScout.com rated the Akron, Ohio native as the No. 12 defensive end prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft.

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The Big 12 announced Thursday that WVU’s Thursday, Nov. 20 football contest against Kansas State at Milan Puskar Stadium will be televised on Fox Sports 1. The game will kick off at 7 p.m.

The only other kickoff that has been announced is the Aug. 30 season opener against Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. That contest will begin at 3:30 p.m., and will be televised by either ABC or ESPN2.

Tickets for that Big 12-SEC showdown went on sale this week through the Mountaineer Ticket office. Mezzanine level seats are $130, lower level and end zone seats are $120 and upper level seats are $80. A limited number of lower level sideline seats are available to Mountaineer Athletic Club members and previous Mountaineer Ticket Office customers. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.wvugame.com or by phone at 1-800-WVU-GAME.

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Former Mountaineer basketball player Rob Summers was recently named the head coach at Urbana University in Urbana, Ohio, adding to the list of former WVU players coaching in the Mountain East Conference.

Summers played two seasons at WVU for John Beilein and was a member of the Sweet 16 team in 2006 and the NIT championship team in 2007.

He played overseas after leaving WVU and served as an assistant coach at Glenville State in 2011. He spent the last year as the director of basketball operations at James Madison University.

Summers will have his work cut out for him, taking over a team that went 0-27 last season.

Other former Mountaineers coaching in the MEC include Pat Beilein at West Virginia Wesleyan and former Bob Huggins assistant Jerrod Calhoun at Fairmont State. Joe Mazulla (Fairmont State) and Frank Young (West Virginia Wesleyan) are assistant coaches in the MEC.

— E-mail: chuffman

@register-herald.com

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