It’s not everyday the podcast has an opportunity to rub shoulders with the student-athletes, put some names with faces and introduce ourselves to the players we love watching each and every Saturday. To the large majority of our listeners, they could likely recognize our voices in a second, but wouldn’t know if we were standing behind them in line at the concession stand waiting for a barbecue sandwich (no slaw for me).

Media Day gave BGP a chance to see the other side of the student-athletes, the side we don’t hear about too often besides at Mountaineer Talk. Later this week we’ll release our interviews with Taylor Lamb, Clifton Duck, and Eric Boggs and you’ll hear them chime in on social media strategies, sports they have played besides football, and why they love playing football for Appalachian State.

If there was a theme of the day from players and coaches, it centered around leadership. It’s not easy to replace graduated seniors like John Law and Marcus Cox who started every game in which they were healthy enough to do so. Although the vocal leaders have moved on, coaches repeatedly spoke to the abilty of the “new guys” to lead by example, picking up right where they left off from spring ball.

“I can’t tell you how happy I have been with the leadership qualities of our players this year at every level of our defense”

– Nate Woody, defensive coordinator

Issues where depth was a problem in the past, and limited the Mountaineer offense seems to have been solved with the addition of freshman, whether they be redshirt or true. Wide receiver Jalen Virgil appears to be in line for a significant role and the offensive line has also been bolstered by the new crop of Mountaineers.

“We know who our top five guys are. Last year we had only had six guys who could play, but now we have eight or nine guys we can throw in there and not skip a beat”

– Shawn Clark, offensive line

Three-fifths of the line returns from what is arguably the best offensive line in the conference and it appears that unit continues to reload to pave the way for the Appalachian rushing attack. Look for player interviews later this week on the podcast, which also includes a guest appearance from our first retired number. Hint: He was a linebacker.

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