If you thought Bruce Irvin didn’t have a very Bruce Irvin-like season in 2011, you likely overlooked Josh Francis. Now that guy didn’t have a Bruce Irvin-like season.
While Irvin V. 2011 battled the double teams and the game plans that were byproducts of Irvin V. 2010, Francis just battled himself during his first Division I season. It was he who arrived last spring and, because he’d been a junior college All-American at Lackawanna (Pa). College, was immediately cast as the next to do what Irvin had done in 2010.
Yet while Irvin was slow out of the gate and then explosive from the quarter-mile marker to the finish in 2010, Francis stumbled and never got right: eight games, one start, nine tackles. Reason being? He’s remarkably honest about it.
“I could say it was extremely hard for me,” the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Francis said. “I never gave football a rest. I felt myself bringing it home with me and then thinking about it way too much.”
Francis was like all the other junior college transfers. He was eager and anxious and he knew he only had so much time with which to work. He wanted success fast and had a hard time coping when it didn’t happen.
He was used to doing things his way at Lackawanna and raking in the rewards.
He wasn’t used to doing things a new way – the 3-3-5 way – at WVU and having nothing to show for it.
Simply put, the season progressed and Francis didn’t.
“I really didn’t deal with it well,” he said. “It wasn’t until after everything had settled when I was able to understand that I was wrong in the was I was going about things last year.”
Everything around him is changing in spring practice: the defensive scheme, the way an outside linebacker like him is to be used and, most notable, who isn’t in front of him. Jewone Snow, the depth-chart topper, is out rehabbing a surgically repaired shoulder, which means Francis gets the first crack at this new Buck position.
And out of respect to p.i. reed, I saved book stuff for the jump. Sorry, fella, but I’m going to kill myself to sell this book and use all the platforms necessary. I’m going to try to keep it off of here, honest, but the River’s Edge Cafe was good to me last night. We sold some books, ate some food, talked some football and made some money for Remember The Miners. And I met a few who are regular readers and contributors on this blog. So I wanted to thank all of them, and where better than here?
And prepare for the official launch March 31 at the Morgantown Brewing Company. Tell your friends!