MORGANTOWN -- For George Shehl, football practice isn't confined to the environs of Mountaineer Field.
It could be anywhere. A front yard, a parking lot, even a living room.
Shehl, the redshirt freshman holder from Clarksburg, has been known to ply his trade where others would relax and watch "Friends."
"Guess that's what it takes," Shehl said. "Whenever I've got any spare time, I'll work in the living room a little bit."
His roommates are undoubtedly glad Shehl is not a member of the rifle team. But friend and WVU placekicker Todd James can appreciate Shehl's dedication.
The two met two summers ago when Shehl was a walk-on, fresh from Robert C. Byrd High School. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Shehl hoped to eventually see some time at defensive back but was looking for a way to help the team in other areas. Hoping to distinguish himself from all the other walk-ons, he began working with James as a holder, a duty he performed with the Eagles.
"What makes a good holder is a lot of dedication. You have to be precise every time," James said. "You really have to want to do it. Sometimes you might get someone who doesn't want to do it and it really puts a lot of stress on the kicker."
Shehl's dedication and ambition struck a chord in James' mind, and when A.J. Nastasi was sidelined with a high ankle sprain two weeks ago, the kicker immediately campaigned for Shehl to take over.
He held flawlessly for five extra points in a 35-32 win over Cincinnati and was not at fault for a blocked field goal, which was the result of James' low kick.
"The biggest thing with him is even when he's not at practice, he goes home at night and he might work 50 holds by himself," James said.
"Every once in awhile, I'll be over hanging out and he'll say, 'Todd let's take some snaps.' He just has that kind of work ethic.
"His goal is to be the best holder in the nation. To this point, I'd say he's definitely done that."
Shehl will make his debut in front of the home fans Saturday as the Mountaineers host East Carolina at Mountaineer Field.
He says he has recovered from the initial nervousness of his debut and his first trip with the traveling squad. "I slept with my rosary around my wrist," he joked.
"It was a business trip up there. I wasn't like, 'Oh man I'm traveling.' I went up there and had a job to do.
"The ice is kind of broken; the nerves have gone away."
Butterflies banished, Shehl is now getting accustomed to the practice habits of a first-teamer. He's been honing his skill, taking 150-200 snaps during practice.
"It's becoming a lot easier with all the repetition," he said.
And if he's not getting enough snaps at practice, Shehl can always take his work home with him.