"We're trying to figure out that next group of guys," Holgorsen said. "We've got a bunch of guys who haven't played and now you're mixing in freshmen guys who haven't played.
"We need probably about 12. I think we can carry 12, but if all 12 are playing, that means nobody has established themselves. That's still too many players."
Players like Rose, Demko and especially Lageman, a fifth-year senior from Huntington who earned a scholarship in the spring, have waited out the roster and worked for an opportunity that may have finally arrived. Brown, Harris and other freshmen, like nose tackle Imarjaye Albury and maybe end Eric Kinsey, could find a way to play in their first season, as daunting as that may be.
"It could be real difficult, especially for an 18-year-old kid playing in the Big 12," Lageman said. "That could be very tough, but then again, you see some of the guys coming on now and there are some pretty big 18-year-olds.
"But I think it's more of a mental thing than a physical thing. Being here five years now - four full seasons - all the springs, all the offseasons you do and all the seasons you go through, you just learn a lot from the older guys that have been around and the fight you need to have to mix it up with those other guys."
That would be the offensive linemen and they admit they like the prospect of taking on true freshman.
"Your eyes do light up knowing they have that high school mentality and they don't know how to play at this level or how fast the game is," center Joe Madsen said. "You know you get to mess with their heads a little."
The coaches don't view age as a restriction and true freshmen are projected to start at inside receiver and field safety while backups can be found at four other positions on defense beyond Brown and Harris.
Defensive line coach Erik Slaughter said he's "all about winning" and believes his freshmen are physically prepared, thanks to either enrolling in January and going through the spring, like Albury, or enrolling in June and making the most of access to the weight room. Slaughter used the preseason camp to make sure players were mentally prepared, and his veterans feel secure moving forward.
"Honestly, all those young guys who have played have made progress," Wright said. "I really think as far as playing young linemen, it's good because the number of plays we're going to see now.
"Any time you have guys to help with depth, no matter the position, it helps to have it because you're always going to have fresh guys. The freshmen we have are hungry to play and they're not scared or timid at all."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.