Parkersburg South graduate Ron Crook likes what he is seeing as he prepares for his second season as the offensive line coach for West Virginia University.
"I like the way they think, I like the way they work, and I like the way they listen to me," said Crook, who played his college football at West Liberty University.
"I like what I've seen so far."
What he has seen is a unit that is bigger, stronger, faster and is communicating on a level eons ahead of last year's group.
"I think that the guys that we have that are in the starting slot we have now have played a lot of football. I feel really good about their potential this season."
A group that includes a pair of redshirt seniors at the guards in Quinton Spain and Mark Glowinski; a sophomore center, Tyler Orlosky, who played in every game during WVU's 4-8 campaign in 2013; and a pair of tackles-Marquis Lucas and Adam Pankey-who possess the size and strength to give fifth-year senior quarterback Clint Trickett, who is expected to start the season opener against Alabama in the Chik-fil-A Classic in the Georgia Dome-the time he will need to re-ignite WVU's slumping passing attack.
"They're getting to know each other on the field," continued Crook.
"They react in certain ways that you can't get without being on the field. The thing I like about the offensive line is that they all have to work together. The only thing that can definitely help is working out there every day."
And, a lot of the credit, at least from the players, for the 'new look' offensive front goes to Crook.
"Last year, our communication just wasn't where it needed to be," said Glowinski.
"It wasn't that he (Crook) was teaching things that differently. But, the terminology he was using was new to us and it took us some time for us to get a grasp on it.
"Now, we are all on the same page and we're not out there wondering what he wants because we understand what he is trying to get us to do."
And, based on his days as an assistant coach at both Harvard and Stanford, that means returning the Mountaineers to a more power-based blocking attack.
"We have different running blocks that give us more power," said Spain, a first-team preseason All-Big 12 selection.
"We are running different zones, and we have a lot more power. The chemistry is great now.
"I've played beside everyone that's on the line now, so everyone is on the same page."
One look at the Mountaineer depth chart shows that the beef is back in Morgantown.
As expected, Orlosky is the smallest of the group, despite weighing in at 298 pounds.
The remaining members of the unit all tip the scales at 300 or better with Spain the heaviest of the group, tilting the Toledos at a hefty 332 pounds.
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org