West Virginia football: Pankey embracing postion change


Offensive linemen Adam Pankey is well versed on the offensive line, but after playing left tackle in 2014, he’ll make the switch to guard for this coming season.

West Virginia lost Quinton Spain and Mark Glowinski to graduation — both are pursuing careers in the NFL. Their absence has left a lot of question marks surrounding the line and who will play where. Panicky is just one example of a transitions, as more should come as the spring practices continue.

Pankey says he’s had to learn on the fly, but is familiar with what’s in store.

“It’s a little quick pace, just getting thrown into there,” Pankey said. “I played there when I first came here, so it’s not a big transition, it’s not a whole lot of learning.”

Sep 6, 2014; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers offensive linesman Adam Pankey (57) blocks at the line of scrimmage against the Towson Tigers during the third quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. West Virginia won 54-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest elements Pankey will have to nail down will be the steps guards have to take as opposed to tackles and what point of attack is best for stopping defensive lineman from preying on whoever may be dropping back for the Mountaineers this season.

Offensive line coach Ron Crook knows of Pankey’s experience at the tackle position and believe he’s on of the “best five,” West Virginia has to offer.

“We’re just looking for the right combination,” said Crook. “I think each day he’s (Pankey) getting better, (he) trusts in what we’re doing, so we can trust in him on a consistent basis.”

Crook said that Pankey continues to understand the scheme they have implemented, the offense as a whole and how to excel at the tackle position.

Pankey’s happy to have his coach’s confidence instilled in him. It helps with the metal side of learning the position.

“Him having that much confidence in me, helps me with my confidence a lot,” said Pankey. “Coaches who are behind you, that’s who you want to play for. I love playing for coach Crook and he gets the best out of me everyday.”

Along with Pankey, the offensive line will likely consist of Tyler Orlosky and Tony Matteo on the inside while Russell Haughton-James, Yodny Cajuste will duke it our for playing time. Marquise Lucas and Marcell Lazard will compete for time on the right, outside.

Lucas seems poised for a starting role, as a fifth-eyear senior he’s been with the program for quite sometime and should be one of the belligerent forces this line has to offer.

“He (Lucas) is playing really well right now, he understands things better, he’s in control of his body, that’s the biggest thing for him,” Crook said. “We’re expecting big things from him from a leadership standpoint, we’re excited about that.”

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Crook and Holgorsen will have a lot of options when it comes to the offensive line and the battle for positions should heat up as the offseason practices continue.

“Again, we’re just looking to see who’s going to make the step up and continue to improve,” Crook said.

With a large amount of talent on the team, Crook is hoping it will translate into a rotation of players rather than a set starting five.

Other players like Stone Underwood, Grant Lingafelter, and Tyler Tezeno all have potential to see time and be part of the rotation should West Virginia go that route.

The offensive line seems to have the parts, but it will remain to be seen if the team can put them into motion.