On Wednesday, four of West Virginia’s top linemen and its “unquestioned leader” on defense were named to the Reese’s Senior Bowl Watchlist.
Fairmont native, and Preseason All-American, Zach Frazier headlines the list of Mountaineers. West Virginia’s five nominees on the watchlist include three offensive linemen (Frazier, Doug Nester, and Ja’Quay Hubbard), defensive lineman Sean Martin, and linebacker Lee Kpogba.
The Senior Bowl staff has had its eyes on Frazier since the summer. Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy tweeted how impressed he has been by the former Fairmont Senior Polar Bear.
“When we visited Morgantown last fall, [WVU coaches] couldn’t say enough good things about All-Big 12 [center] Zach Frazier,” Nagy said. “Based off his football smarts and how people talk about him, it’s easy to predict that o-line coaches around [the] NFL are going to be pounding the table for [Frazier] next April.”
Frazier hopes to be West Virginia’s first offensive lineman to earn a Senior Bowl invite since Colton McKivitz in 2020.
Kpogba, Martin, and Nester have all received preseason recognition this summer.
Kpogba led the Mountaineers in tackles in his first season with WVU last fall. Head coach Neal Brown has called him the “unquestioned leader” of the West Virginia defense multiple times this preseason.
After playing in all 12 games last season, Martin is expected to be the leader of WVU’s defensive line this year. He finished with 34 total tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, and four sacks last season.
Nester and Hubbard are key pieces of the Mountaineers’ veteran offensive line. Hubbard is rotating between guard and tackle this preseason, while Nester has secured the right tackle spot.
West Virginia kicks off its regular season on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Penn State. The game will be nationally televised on NBC, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.