MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Zach Frazier has earned All-Big 12 or All-American honors every year he has played at West Virginia. Entering the 2023 season, his fourth with the Mountaineers, the junior center is a preseason All-American and is the highest-graded returning offensive lineman in the conference.
One would assume that the list of things Frazier does right on the football field is significantly longer than the list of what he does wrong. And while that is true, if you ask the Fairmont native to dissect his game, he’ll have more to say about what he can correct than what he excels in.
“I have little things about everything. I could pull out a list for you and tell you,” Frazier said last week.
WVU’s starting center began reaching into his pocket to pull out his phone and produce the list. But he stopped. He didn’t need to look it up. Frazier has everything cataloged in his head.
“Pass pro, playing with length, working on my punch, I feel like I could always be better with my hands. Run game, I could always be a little bit lower,” he continued. “Sometimes I hop. I feel like I need to get both feet in the ground. It’s just little stuff. I could go on and on. But I’m always looking to get better.”
Keep in mind, that’s the to-do list for an All-American-level player who has only allowed four sacks in 35 games at the collegiate level.
Frazier’s list of things to work on is that long for good reason. He, much like head coach Neal Brown, believes good fundamentals can be the determining factors in wins and losses during the season.
He creates a new list, or at least adds and subtracts from the one he currently has, between each season.
“Every year, I pull all my bad plays into a cut-up (video) and focus on what I need to work on, individually,” said Frazier. “I always try to work on my weaknesses, specifically. Just stuff like that. That’s what I focus on, so I don’t get complacent.”
Coming out of Fairmont Senior High School, Frazier was the second-highest-rated high school football player in West Virginia. He trailed only Sean Martin, his teammate at WVU, in the recruiting metrics. Not only was he a high school football state champion, but he was a four-time wrestling state champ, as well.
Frazier became a fixture on West Virginia’s offensive line immediately. He started nine of 10 games during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season and has started every game the Mountaineers have played since.
Entering his junior season of eligibility, Frazier credits his high-motor, high-effort style of play for his success.
“I might not have known exactly what to do or had perfect technique, but I think as I’ve been here longer, my technique has gotten better overall. But I still kept that motor and effort that I feel like I’ve always played with,” he said.
The high motor and effort he plays with are part of what will carry Frazier to hearing his name called in the NFL Draft one day in the future. Until then, he will keep chipping away at the list he carries with him everywhere he goes.