WVU Quarterback Competition Alive and Well as Summer Approaches
Matt Hauswirth-- MORGANTOWN
Competition brings out the best in people. That’s something WVU Head Football Coach Dana Holgorsen firmly believes as summer workouts loom right around the corner.
The Mountaineers struggled to find a solid replacement for Geno Smith after last season. Holgorsen tried his hand with a variety of quarterbacks, from Paul Millard, Ford Childress, and of course, Clint Trickett.
A frontrunner failed to emerge, which begs the question: Who’s the WVU quarterback this year?
“Skyler Howard is doing a good job. Paul Millard is doing a good job. Logan Moore is doing a good job,” Holgorsen said. “All of those guys are ahead of where they were a year ago. In about a week we add William Crest, which is going to probably be a little bit of a wild card, seeing as though we really don’t know what we’re getting except for a great athlete and a great kid.”
Howard and Crest are the two newcomers to the competition this year. Howard transferred in from Riverside Community College in California, while Crest will arrive in Morgantown as one of the top high school quarterbacks in the country.
Trickett is the consensus frontrunner for the starting job, seeing as though he started the most games (7) of any WVU quarterback last year. He’s also coming off shoulder surgery during the off-season. Holgorsen explained he has not had a chance to see him throw quite yet, but expects a more lively and active Clint Trickett.
“I really haven’t even seen him yet,” Holgorsen said. “We can’t do anything with our guys with the ball. So we can meet with them and talk to them. I love his mentality right now. He’s excited about understanding the offense right now and understanding what we’re trying to get accomplished – and being healthy. It’s been quite some time since he’s been healthy.”
A healthy Trickett can only help the Mountaineers in 2014. But the eyes of all WVU football fans will be placed squarely on William Crest. The soon-to-be freshman quarterback comes to West Virginia from Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland – the same high school to produce former Mountaineer standout, Tavon Austin.
Crest has the fanfare that comes with a big-name recruit. Several online recruiting services have him listed as a four-star prospect and a top ten dual-threat quarterback in the 2014 class.
Holgorsen admitted although he’s an incoming freshman, Crest will have the same opportunity to compete for the starting job as the others.
“I’m not counting it out,” he said. “There are not many freshman quarterbacks that can actually come in and do it without a redshirt year. But it’s happened [before]. We’re going to give him every opportunity to do so. How they respond in August, you never know. Geno [Smith] didn’t have to step up and be a player until about Week 10, if I’m not mistaken. So we’re going to coach him hard and teach him what to do. We’re going to give him an opportunity to play and we’ll see who rises up.”
Rising up may be a bit easier for Crest without a clear-cut frontrunner. However, he’ll have to get in line with the rest of the quarterbacks on the roster, fighting for a chance to grab control of the position with the season less than three months away.