After a disappointing practice Monday, WVU football coach Neal Brown gave his assessment of each Mountaineer quarterback through the first few days of practice.
While each player has made progress, Brown indicated that the quarterbacks still have as long road ahead of them as the season opener with James Madison approaches.
“I’m pleased with where we’re at, but we’ve got a long way to go also,” Brown said.
Brown noted that the quarterbacks are getting far more reps now than in the spring, and quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan added the players are splitting reps with the first and second teams. They’ll continue to rotate for the next several practices.
But even though Reagan said the quarterbacks have all improved since the Gold-Blue Game, it’s still too soon in the evaluation process to name a starter.
“We know what to do. Now we need to learn how to do what we do,” Reagan said. “That’s where we need to get better fundamentally — execution, eye discipline, just all the details. But they’re getting better.”
One thing has remained consistent since the spring, though: Brown indicated this week that redshirt juniors Austin Kendall and Jack Allison remain the frontrunners to earn the starting role.
“Jack and Austin probably have the best understanding of what we’re doing right now. It’s a little slower for them,” Brown said. “I think our completion percentages and our decision making are up from the spring, which is a positive.”
Brown said the game is also slowing down for redshirt freshman Trey Lowe, but Reagan said confidence is a critical factor for the young signal caller.
“What Trey has to do is Trey has to be more confident in himself, because he can do it,” Reagan said. “He can execute the offense, he’s just got to believe in himself to get the job done.”
The wild card in the race for the starting role remains Jarret Doege, the junior transfer from Bowling Green.
After starting two seasons for the Falcons, Doege’s eligibility for the 2019 season at WVU is still up in the air, but Brown admitted that he’s the most experienced quarterback of the bunch in terms of games played.
“They lost some games, they had some struggles at Bowling Green, so he knows how to overcome adversity,” Brown said. “He can probably shake off bad plays and shake off hard coaching a little bit quicker maybe than the other ones right now because he had to go through some of that.”
Reagan said Doege’s uncertain status doesn’t change the way the staff is coaching him during fall camp.
“We’re trying to get him as many reps as we can to develop him, and we’ll stay along that all season long,” Reagan said. “Now, as we get into the season, depending on what happens with his waiver will depend on if he goes to the scout team or not, but he’ll get his reps either way.”
There’s still no timetable for when the Mountaineers will name their starting quarterback, but Reagan said the player who earns the role will be the one who makes the smartest decisions.
“The main focus we have right now in the quarterback room is making confident, decisive decisions,” Reagan said. “Whoever does that the best, and doesn’t have plays that get you beat, will end up being the guy. As long as we don’t beat ourselves at that position, we’ll be fine.”
Watch the full interview with Reagan below: