It is not often in the modern era of college football to see a player albe to play multiple positions on the field. It is even more rare when that player is able to play both positions at an All-Conference level (or at least deserving of the recognition). Terence Garvin is that rare kind of player.
Garvin had spent the past two seasons as the starting spur safety in coach Casteel’s old 3-3-5 odd stack defense. As a spur safety, Garvin spent a lot of time near the line of scrimmage. His role was to come up in run support and cover tight ends and slot receivers in passing situations.
Garvin excelled in the 3-3-5 where he totalled 148 tackles, 5 sacks, and a pair of interceptions over the past two seasons.
With coach Casteel retreating to the desert, the Mountaineers brought in co-defensive coordinators Joe DeForest and Keith Patterson to institute a 3-4 scheme. The new defensive alignment calls for a traditional four linebackers set with a twist.
The defense features a star linebacker position that plays like a hybrid linebacker/safety, similar in some aspects to the spur safety position. The primary difference between the positions is how often Garvin will be asked to rush the passer.
“I’m getting better at it every day. When I go to practice I work on different techniques. I’m trying to really get a feel for it and find different ways to affect the quarterback. You’re always going to try to learn new things. I’m trying to learn new and different ways to do things,” Garvin on his pass rushing technique.
Garvin’s pass rushing techniques have worked pretty well this season. Through the first two games of the season, Garvin has registered a pair of sacks, 20 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. While Terence has been playing at an All-Big 12 level, he still concedes that there is room for improvement for himself and the WVU defense as a whole.
“We’re trying to get better. We’re trying to get to the ball, make plays, and get turnovers. That’s what our coaches really emphasize is getting turnovers. We’re trying to get better and do what we have to do to win,” Garvin discussing the WVU defense.
If Garvin can find a way to step up his play further, he will really improve his draft potential and almost gaurantee himself an All-Big 12 selection at linebacker. Terence should get plenty of opportunities to get after the passer against the Terrapins this coming Saturday.