Vic Cabral brought in to energize WVU's edge rush

Mar. 29—MORGANTOWN — When WVU head coach Neal Brown said new outside linebackers coach Vic Cabral was energetic, he wasn't kidding.

"So this is Power 5 football, " Cabral remarked on Friday afternoon when walking into his first press conference since coming to WVU in January.

"The greatest profession in the world is coaching, at any level, " is how Cabral began his 18-minute press conference. "It was Jan. 18 when I got the nod up here and it's an unbelievable blessing to be a part of Coach Brown's staff and the vision that he has been able to establish over the last few years."

Brown said he wanted to bring Cabral in to add some energy to the defensive coaching staff. Mission accomplished, as Cabral's energy is apparent from listening to him speak for just a few minutes.

"I've been known as a high-energy guy for a long time, " Cabral said. "I had to overcome talent so I did that with excitement, even as a player.

"Everything I have, I owe to this game. I met my wife, I got two degrees from it, I got my profession, it took me out of where I grew up, I was the first person in my family to ever go to college and I owe it to the game and I owe it to my coaches that helped me get to this point. So I have to bring that every single day and that's my why."

WVU is Cabral's first job at a Power 5 school. His previous stops include Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and FCS Samford.

"The kids are all the same, " he said of moving to a major conference. "It gets kind of crazy in the world of college athletics but at the end of the day, they just want to help win. They just want to win and make West Virginia proud.

"It's been awesome, it's been so great and I'm looking forward to getting my family up here, too."

Cabral was brought in this off-season to help the Mountaineers get more production out of their edge rushers. Despite leading the Big 12 with 33 sacks in 2023, only seven of them came from outside linebackers. And only 2.5 of those sacks return for 2024.

"There were a bunch of pressures and a bunch of times where we affected the passer, " Cabral said of last season's edge rush. "I think pass rushing is patience and I think these guys have to understand that simple is better.

"Let's say they throw the ball 500 times in a season and you only have 10 sacks, if you're in the NFL, you're playing in the Pro Bowl. You have to understand that it's a long-term game."

Returning at outside linebacker is senior Tyrin Bradley, who had 2.5 sacks last season after transferring from Abilene Christian.

"Tyrin has been awesome ; I've really enjoyed getting to know him a lot, " Cabral said. "He's got this fire inside of him and he wants to be great, he wants to lead."

WVU also added Ty French, who transferred up from FCS Gardner-Webb after recording 9.5 sacks last season. French also set the career record at Gardner-Webb with 34.5 sacks.

"When I was at App State last year we played Gardner-Webb and I was like, 'Whoa, that guy's good, '" Cabral said. "You know John Cena ? He's kind of built that way—he's in good shape."

Also in Cabral's room are redshirt junior Brayden Dudley and true freshman Obinna Onwuka.

WVU will take a couple of days off for the holiday and return with its fourth spring practice on Tuesday.

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