Holgorsen pushes David Long as nation’s top linebacker

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Dana Holgorsen is stumping for his best defensive player to get more national recognition.
While quarterback Will Grier is certainly the face of these Mountaineers, linebacker David Long represents the heart and soul of Holgorsen’s squad.
“It’s not just his stats,” Holgorsen said on his Monday night radio show. “He’s more important in the locker room. More important in practice. That’s as influential a football player as I’ve been around.”
The stats are quite good nonetheless. Despite West Virginia having a game canceled, Long is 17th nationally with 56 solo tackles, fifth with 17.5 tackles for loss and 26th with seven sacks.
“This is insane that he’s not getting the due nationally,” Holgorsen said. “The good news is we’re going against two of the top offenses nationally the next couple weeks. This Saturday is a big ABC game. He’ll have some eyes on him.”
Long is one of 10 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, which is given to the top linebacker in the country. He is likely fighting some institutional bias playing in a league primarily known for explosive offenses – no Big 12 player has won the award since Texas’ Derrick Johnson in 2004.
That doesn’t mean much to Holgorsen.
“I think he’s the best linebacker in the country,” Holgorsen said. “I said it before the season. I stand by it.”

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