For Parkersburg native Matt Lindamood, the bond with his home state is deep.
"I love representing my state," said Lindamood. "I would do this for the rest of my life if I could but I only have four years and I'm making the best of them. Parkersburg is what made me. It shaped me to come up here and put in the hard work. That's where I'm from and I'm never going to forget it. It's more being from West Virginia I love that. I love being up here representing my state. I would die for it, I really would."
After being used primarily on special teams as a redshirt freshman, Lindamood is looking to make an impact at the fullback position this fall. By the looks of his performance this spring, he could likely being seeing a significant amount of time next season. Lindamood has impressed coaches and spectators with his obvious growth in the offseason, and has had one of the most consistent springs on the team.
"[In the offseason] I did a lot of work with [strength] coach Mike Joseph, "said Lindamood. "I worked on improving on the Olympic lifts that we were doing plus a lot of the extra speed work and flexibility. What helped me a lot was my explosion with my flexibility."
Not only have the coaches noticed Lindamood's improvement, but the fullback admits that he has seen the changes in his play and his speed.
"I've improved so much," said Lindamood. "Coach Beatty has me doing a bunch of things and watching NFL films on fullbacks and how they block, run, and everything else. He's done a great job with me. I watched the [Minnesota] Vikings fullback opening up holes for Adrian Peterson. He does a great job. Coach Joseph has had us doing a bunch of agility work and speed. It's kind of ironic that I got faster and heavier at the same time."
While Lindamood could likely have seen the field as a starter all four years at a smaller school, he admits that the choice was easy when deciding to come to West Virginia. He sees ways in which he can contribute even when not throwing blocks or getting the occasional carry.
"This team right here represents the state nationally and I love that feeling," said Lindamood. "It's important to get on the field, but even when you're not on the field you can still be helping the team out. You can be a leader whether you're out there or not. You can give it your all on the scout team. It's not all about being out there. It's great to be out there and help on game days but you can still help them even when you're not out there."
Despite his impressive spring, it is still hard to tell if Lindamood will see carries at fullback playing behind talented big backs like sophomore Ryan Clarke and junior Ricky Kovatch. However, whether he's on the field carrying the ball at fullback or working with the special teams, Lindamood is just happy to be representing a state so close to his heart.
"You always have to be optimistic about it," said Lindamood. "I'm going to go as hard as I can and get what God has given me and use it to the best of my ability."
All student athletes at West Virginia University develop a bond with the state during their four to five year stay in the Mountain State, but that tie seems to be a little stronger when a player born and bred in West Virginia is able to represent his home on the football field.