West Virginia head football coach Neal Brown had high praise for his quarterbacks ahead of the preseason — but he stopped short of naming his starter for 2020.
Both Jarret Doege and Austin Kendall have taken leadership roles for the Mountaineers this offseason, heading their own respective “accountability teams” — which rank groups of team members based on their performance both on and off the field. Both of their teams are at the top of the standings, with Doege’s leading the way out of ten teams.
“I’m proud of how they’ve gone about not only attacking that leadership role, but learning and growing as football players through this virtual learning,” Brown said. “Defensive recognition, coverages, protections, those types of things, they’ll be ready to go.”
The growth is a positive sign says Brown, who made a mid-season switch from Kendall to Doege after the team’s 3-6 start to the season. Behind Doege, the Mountaineers went 2-1 in their final three games.
In his 9 starts, Kendall completed 61.5 percent of his passes for an average of 221 yards, with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while Doege averaged 204.5 yards on a 65.83-percent completion rate with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
Brown’s reluctance to name a starter is reminiscent of his first preseason at WVU’s helm in 2019. That summer saw Kendall competing with fellow transfer Jack Allison for the starting job. The head coach ultimately named Kendall the starter on August 20 — 11 days before the Mountaineers’ season opener against James Madison.
“Whenever we start, those two are going to be ready to go. They’re gonna compete, and more power to whoever wins. But I think we’ve got two guys that I’ve been extremely pleased with, and they’re more than capable of leading our football team.”
Brown also spoke highly of true freshman quarterback Garrett Greene, who he says has been “very active” as part of Darius Stills’s accountability team.