Left Guard Says He Was “Really Fortunate” To Not Suffer Ligament Or Tendon Damage
By Matt Keller
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – There was a moment when Kyle Bosch thought his senior season might be in jeopardy.
The left guard was blocking on a rushing play in the first half of West Virginia’s Gold-Blue spring game. Suddenly, there was a loud pop and Bosch’s left leg buckled. Trainer Dave Kerns huddled over Bosch, whose discomfort plainly shone on his face.
The issue was more in the ankle than the knee, as it turned out. According to Bosch, the ankle misfired, causing the knee to overcompensate. That led to concerns over ligament or tendon damage, with an MRI still to come. Bosch limped off the field, but that didn’t prove much aside from that the major weight-bearing bones were intact.
There was an anxious 48 hour wait before the MRI results, and the issue loomed over the coaching staff and fan base. The All-Big 12 guard had started 29 career games, 26 at West Virginia after transferring from Michigan, and Bosch was expected to play a central role in a rebuilding Mountaineer line. Many were holding their collective breath.
“I was, too,” said Bosch, as the MRI eventually revealed no ligament or tendon damage. “I am really fortunate and blessed that it was just that little tweak of my ankle and nothing more serious. I am really fortunate with that. Other than that, health-wise, everything is great. No restrictions. I have been working out with everybody. I’m a little slower than everybody else the older you get.”
And then the tag line of every offensive linemen: “Nothing is really aching other than everything else on my body.”
Bosch enters his fifth season of major collegiate football having played in 32 games. Barring injury, he will finish his career with 42 starts in 45 games played. There’s a lot of mileage on the 6-5, 310-pound body, including more than 1,000 snaps played last season. But there’s something about entering the senior season that serves as an extra dose of motivation, and Bosch has caught the bug.
“It’s going by a lot faster than other summers,” he said. “I remember we had four weeks left and last year I was counting down the minutes until we could get in camp and out of summer conditioning. It’s flying by and it’s a whole different perspective when you get towards the end of your career.
“Collectively, I see something that is pleasantly surprising. There were not a lot of things we could easily replace in Adam Pankey, Tony Matteo, Marcell Lazard, Tyler Orlosky. It’s very hard to replace all those veteran guys. But with Matt Jones, Colton (McKivitz) continuing to develop, Yodny (Cajuste) really coming in and getting his head back in the game (after two torn ACLs), Josh Sills getting back into it and Grant (Lingafelter) embracing that senior leadership role and getting to a point where we can be comfortable having him in, I really think we are going to be a much better line than I anticipated when I had to say goodbye to Tyler and all those guys last year. I think we are going to be pretty dang good up front.”
Which is saying something considering many rated West Virginia’s 2016 line as among the tops in the Big 12, with one source labeling it as among the top five in the country. Bosch believes it can get there again, even with new starters at center, right guard, right tackle and questions about the ability of Cajuste’s knee after the pair of injuries the last two years.
“It’s all about development,” Bosch said. “It’s a testament to (Director of Strength and Conditioning) Mike Joseph and what he does and to coach (Ron) Crook and (Joe) Wickline for bringing players in and putting them in a centeriece where we can have younger kids like Matt Jones coming in and shaking up the entire front because he’s got his head on straight and he wanted to play.
“It doesn’t matter what system you are in unless you have a coach who can really relay it to you. Coach Crook did a good job of it and coach Wickline came in all guns blazing. He’s doing a great job teaching all of us the new techniques that he brings. The good thing about coach Wickline is that if his technique isn’t working after two or three days, he scraps it and finds a new technique that will apply to our O-line. Having a coaching staff that really knows how to hone in on our strengths and weaknesses and change certain aspects of what we are doing in practice can really help us as a unit and an O-line and an offense.”