MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Football is a physically and mentally draining sport. The regular season may only last from August to November, with the potential for another game in the winter, but college football players are around one another and the program they play for almost year-round.
Between a rigorous training schedule, school work, and other obligations, football players (and all other student-athletes) need to get away and take some time for themselves.
On a team with roughly 100 players on the roster, the off-the-field hobbies are wide-ranging.
Several players on the offense go golfing. Center Zach Frazier and quarterback Garrett Greene are said to be the top golfers on the team. Members of the WVU football team used the sport as a way to be with one another in 2020 when COVID-19-related restrictions were in place.
Frazier, who stands at 6-feet-3-inches tall and weighs 310 pounds and said his favorite club is his wedge, isn’t the prototypical golfer.
“I have to have extended clubs a little bit, bigger grips,” he said. “I try to swing smooth. I don’t try to kill it. So, I try to swing easy. We play a lot whenever we can.”
While it’s mainly been the offensive players hitting the links, guys on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage like taking a trip to the bowling lanes. Aubrey Burks gave Gold and Blue Nation some insight into these bowling outings at Big 12 Media Days in July.
“I’m definitely top five bowling; I’m top five at that for sure. I’m not the best, but the bowling alley can get very competitive,” said Burks. “We try to go once a week, twice a week sometimes. It can get pretty competitive.”
Burks didn’t give names of who joins him as the five best bowlers on the WVU football roster, though he did offer up who he says is his biggest competition. That distinction goes to fellow safety Marcis Floyd, who Burks stated can score into the high-200s.
The group of Mountaineer bowlers always go to Suburban Lanes in Morgantown. It’s the same location that recently hosted a PBA event, with pro bowling legend Pete Weber in the house. Suburban Lanes also holds league nights throughout the year.
Asked what the WVU bowling team name would be, West Virginia’s ‘head honcho’ had no hesitation in his answer.
“Jack Boyz. And I say Jack Boyz because that’s what, when we break it down as safeties, that’s what we say — safeties and corners,” said Burks. “We’ll say Jack Boyz. So, I’m going to go with Team Jack Boyz.”
Golf and bowling have provided good team bonding opportunities for Mountaineer players. But some like to do their own thing in their spare time.
Enter Tomas Rimac, the redshirt sophomore offensive lineman from Brunswick, Ohio. His hometown may be located just 20 miles outside of Cleveland, but he doesn’t need five bars of 5G service to pass the time.
“Oh yeah, I could go off the grid. Yeah,” he said Tuesday. “Just give me like a little cabin — remote — maybe like a lake…Nope, I’d be good.”
He is on the grid for now. And while he is, he has found a new hobby to pass the hours between football activities.
“In my free time, I actually like to make stuff out of old pallets and stuff. Like, I made the state of West Virginia out of old pallets and stuff. Woodworking, working with my hands,” he said.
Luckily for Rimac, he has easy access to wood pallets, thanks to his mother’s job at a grocery store.
Rimac’s outdoor activities don’t stop there. He watches videos on how to make houses out of wood pallets — something he says he might do one day, long after his football career is done. It seems he could do almost that involves getting his hands dirty or building something in the great outdoors.
“Growing up, I was always working with my hands. My dad, he really taught me and my brothers the definition of hard work, and it’s just something that I fell in love with. In my free time, I can’t really just sit down, sit in bed all day. So, I always feel like I have to do something with my hands, or just do a chore, or accomplish something.”Tomas Rimac, WVU offensive lineman
There’s one other off-field hobby we learned about on Tuesday.
Devin Carter, a 6-foot-3-inch muscular wideout, likes to exchange his sneakers for a different kind of footwear.
“In North Carolina, I used to go skating a lot, like roller skating,” he said. “That was one of my hobbies.”
Carter could easily rollerblade around the flat topography of Raliegh, North Carolina, while he attended NC State. Though, he laughed and agreed with the notion it would be a little tougher to come to a stop on one of the downhill streets of Morgantown.